Globalization and Local Adaptation in International Trade Law
320 pages, 6 x 9
5 tables, 4 graphs
Release Date:01 Jan 2012
Release Date:07 Mar 2011
Release Date:01 Jan 2011

Globalization and Local Adaptation in International Trade Law

UBC Press

The trade principles of Western liberal democracies are at the core of international trade law regimes and standards. Are non-Western societies uniformly adopting international standards, or are they adapting them to local norms and cultural values?

This volume presents a new conceptual approach – the paradigm of selective adaptation – to explore and explain the reception of international trade law in the Pacific Rim. It brings together scholars from Australia, Canada, China, and Japan who reveal how the World Trade Organization’s standards are being interpreted – and in some cases disputed – in selected countries. Building on a conceptual discussion of the normative and institutional contexts for international trade law, the authors draw on examples from China, Japan, Thailand, and North America to show that formal acceptance of international trade standards through accession to the World Trade Organization and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade does not necessarily lead to uniform enforcement and acceptance at the local level. 

Globalization and Local Adaptation in International Trade Law provides compelling evidence that non-uniform compliance will be a legitimate outcome of the globalization of international trade rules. 

This book will be of interest to students and scholars who want a better understanding of the development and enforcement of international trade law and anyone interested in the comparative study of legal systems.


  • 2012, Commended - The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2012
This book adopts a unique approach to understanding the cultural factors that affect the selective adaptation of international norms in some jurisdictions ... The topic is of great importance, and [this book] will contribute to intellectual debates on treaty implementation and to the general field of international trade law. Chang-fa Lo, College of Law, National Taiwan University

Pitman B. Potter is the Hong Kong Bank Chair in Asian Research at the Institute of Asian Research and a professor of law at the University of British Columbia.

Ljiljana Biukovic is an associate professor of law at the University of British Columbia.

Contributors: Emma Buchte, Julian Dierkes, Wenwei Guan, Maomi Iwase, Devin McDaniels, Kathrine Richardson, Mayumi Saegusa, Richard Schwindt, Wang Shuliang,Yoshitaka Wada, Liao Zhigang


Part 1: Concepts and Methods

Introduction: Selective Adaptation, Institutional Capacity, and the Reception of International Law under Conditions of Globalization / Pitman B. Potter

Global Competition Governance: A Step towards Constitutionalization of the WTO / Ljiljana Biukovic

Methodology and Current Research Directions in Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution / Emma Buchtel

Part 2: Local Implementation of Global Standards

Globalization and Local Culture in Contracts: Japanese Companies in Thailand / Yoshitaka Wada

NAFTA, Labour Mobility, and Dispute Resolution within a North American Context / Kathrine Richardson

The TRIPS Agreement and New Developments in IP Law in China / Liao Zhigang

Competition Policy, Capacity Building, and Selective Adaptation: Tentative Lessons from Japan's Experience with Anti-Cartel Policies / Richard Schwindt and Devin McDaniels

Selective Adaptation of Economic Governance Norms in China: Transparency and Autonomy in Local Context / Pitman B. Potter

Part 3: Case Studies on Dispute Resolution

International Dispute Resolution in Japan: A Combination of Judicial and Other Systems / Maomi Iwase

Introduction to International Trade Dispute Settlement in China / Wang Shuliang

Alternate Dispute Resolution in Japanese Legal Education: Preliminary Evidence from the 2003 and 2004 Curricula / Mayumi Saegusa and Julian Dierkes

A Comparative Study of Olympic Marks Protection and Beyond: Canada, the United States, and China / Wenwei Guan

Conclusion: Reaching Normative Consensus in International Trade Law / Ljiljana Biukovic



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