69 UMKC L. Rev. 733 (2000-2001)
Legitimacy, Globally: The Incoherence of Free Trade Practice, Global Economics and Their Governing Principles of Political Economy

handle is hein.journals/umkc69 and id is 743 raw text is: LEGITIMACY, GLOBALLY:
THE INCOHERENCE OF FREE TRADE PRACTICE,
GLOBAL ECONOMICS AND THEIR GOVERNING
PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Michael H. Davis* & Dana Neacsu*
Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on'
Illegal is purely a matter of geography2
INTRODUCTION
In this article, we observe the legalized character of the phenomenon
popularly called globalization. We first examine what it means to be a legal-
ized phenomenon and observe that an important part of legalization is legitima-
tion. In domestic legal regimes, legitimation is accomplished through the Rule of
Law, which makes certain claims about the nature of the society of which the
legal regime is a part. Simply stated, the Rule of Law claims that a legal system
is legitimate if its rules are definite and predictable and are applied in a general,
impartial, and non-retroactive manner.3 In the international trading system of
which globalization is the legalized regime, the legitimizing role is played by the
so-called law of comparative advantage, developed originally by David Ricardo.
Simply stated, the law of comparative advantage claims that all nations, not just
the richest or most powerful, can profit from unhindered international trade, since
each country can exploit and thus profit from its own particular advantages, even
while it pays others for goods produced elsewhere.4 This globalized legitimation,
similar to domestic legitimation, makes certain claims about the nature of the
system of which the globalized regime is a part. We then examine what particu-
lar features of globalization are supported by the law of comparative advantage,
and we note how the legitimating role of that law conceals the true nature of
those features. Finally, we observe that globalization and those features we have
. Professor of Law, Cleveland State University College of Law. This article was supported by a
grant from the Cleveland-Marshall Fund. It was also supported by the extraordinary efforts of
Marie Rehmar, reference law librarian at CSU, as well as the assistance of Kemal Becirspahic dit
Becir of GERPISA at the Universit6 d'.vry-Val d'Essonne, France.
.. Dana Neacsu is a reference librarian at the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library of the Columbia
University Law School and a New York attorney.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR act 2, sc. 2.
2 DEAR BRIGITTE (Twentieth Century Fox 1965).
See ALBERT V. DICEY, INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE LAW OF THE CONSTITUTION 234-409
(8th ed. 1927); ROBERTO M. UNGER, LAW IN MODERN SOCIETY: TOWARD A CRITICISM OF SOCIAL
THEORY 176-77 (1976), discussed infra nn. 33-34 and accompanying text.
4 See DAVID RICARDO, ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, AND TAXATION 313 (Ronald M.
Hartwell ed., Penguin Books 1971) (1819), discussed infra nn. 94-100 and 201, and accompanying
text. Illustrating one of the central problems of the law of comparative advantage - its
indefiniteness - some will take issue with this description since, as Ricardo formulated it using only
two countries, it applied only bilaterally. Its modern articulation nonetheless insists, however
inaccurately, that the law works in the multinational context.
733

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