Chicago Journal of International Law


Our Article proceeds in three principal parts. In Part I, we explore the extent to which the State continues to evolve in the twenty-first century. We draw on the literature discussing strategy to identify the hallmarks of Statecraft among the states that dominated the trading world after World War I-in particular the modern liberal democracies of Europe, the United States, and Japan. Part II argues that, just as law and strategy evolve through an interdependent and dynamic relationship, Statecraft and the international commercial order of states engender each other's evolution through an interactive process. The domestic constitutional architecture of the State'--such as its organization around a nation and its legitimization through the promotion of that nation's welfare-has a profound influence on the ordering of the international trade system and the type of fundamental questions (such as the "linkage" of trade and social regulation) that will face each generation. At the same time, gradual shifts in the foundational rules of the international trade system and in patterns of international economic activity (such as the rise of a new set of international economic actors or transformations in currency markets) affect the ability of the State to maintain its domestic Statecraft and tend to transform the internal order of the State. We illustrate our theoretical argument with an analysis of the Bretton Woods order. In Part III, we explain how comparative advantage as the animating principle of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT") has set in motion fundamental shifts in Statecraft which, in turn, necessitate the introduction of new concepts and language into the international trade order. We argue that a new constitutional moment is needed-albeit one different in kind from Bretton Woods's drastic departure from past policies and wholesale adoption of comparative advantage as one of the foundational norms of the system-and, with it, a new trade norm for states, which we identify as "enablement of global economic opportunity." We complete our argument with a description of a new set of global institutional settings for world trade, institutions that will enable us to make sense of current changes as we approach an uncertain future.