In a journal analyzing developments in the theory and practice of international economic law (IEcL), it is appropriate occasionally to reflect on the changing meaning of IEcL and its relation to public and general international law. After an introductory excursus of the three terms—international, economic, and law—this article examines the evolution of the field as such. First, there is a discussion of the key institutional innovations achieved in the early 20th century. Second, there is an overview of the foundational IEcL writings of Ernst Feilchenfeld, Georg Schwarzenberger, and John H. Jackson. The historical contributions of Feilchenfeld, a Georgetown University scholar, have heretofore received little attention in the IEcL literature. Next, the article discusses the burgeoning IEcL scholarship of the past few 25 years and notes the still ongoing efforts to develop a theory of IEcL to explain its purpose in regulating the global economy and achieving a world public order of human dignity.
Journal Article. 10004 words.
Subjects: Financial Law ; Public International Law ; International Economic Law ; Economics
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