The Limits of Coherence

Andrew Lang

in World Trade Law after Neoliberalism

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592647
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731396 | DOI:
The Limits of Coherence

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This chapter argues that the critical potential of human rights as a tool for transforming global economic governance has so far been partially but significantly undermined by the tendency of many participants on all sides of the trade and human rights debate to adopt the essentializing, or reifying, discursive mode characteristic of the language of coherence. The first section sets out the basic reasons why founding a vision of reformed global trade governance on the idea of ‘coherence’ can miss the mark, and perhaps even make a genuine re-imagining of contemporary forms of trade governance more difficult to achieve. The second offers three illustrations of reformative projects inspired by this normative vision, and suggests that their limited success so far can be traced in part to the underlying logics identified in the first section.

Keywords: human rights; economic governance; coherence; global trade governance

Chapter.  13719 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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