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In today's society, the foreground of deliberation-in politics, legislation, judicial decisions, even war is increasingly experienced by citizens as a mask for the working out of norms and institutions the precise nature of which eludes us. We are accustomed to looking behind every news item, often feeling that the real decisions are made by other people than those who seem to be in power, or that events are merely driven by facts on the ground or unconscious motives. To consider global business activity, and especially employment issues, in this experiential context is a daring and provocative challenge one which was taken up in August 2004 under the sponsorship of the Department of Business Law at Lund University. This remarkable book presents a rich sampling of what was said at that unique symposium among a group of notable authorities in law, business, and international relations. The seventeen authors whose contributions appear in this book bring their lucid perspectives to bear on the vital and complex issues that emerge from the contemplation of the territory where the rule of law encounters global business interests. These perspectives encompass such factors as the following:
the role of the expert; global extension of the nation-state model; the effect of development aid on legal systems in developing countries; WTO rules and dispute settlement; the most favoured nation (MFN) principle; efforts to harmonise contract law; international taxation; multinational corporate behaviour; the search for fair labour standards; the clash of economic law and labour law; corporate social responsibility; and alternative dispute resolution in international trade. Underlying all the essays is the insight that, although there is no established global law and no global law-giver, yet there is no national law that is not deeply affected by the globalisation of markets. Collectively, these authors provide a deeper and truer vision of the real global legal regime that is rapidly taking shape. The powerful impetus this book provides toward an understanding of actually developing global governance and global justice will be of great value to all who wish to see a balance struck among economic, environmental, and social interests in our world.
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