International Economic Law (& Politics): A Latin American Perspective

International Economic Law (IEL) is law. But is it just law? Is it an exclusively legal phenomenon? Or is it a mere rhetorical tool? The Latin American experience, has taught us not to over-legalize international economic law. IEL is a social phenomenon and, as such, is necessarily linked to politics. IEL is born out of diplomatic negotiations and exists in a political context. Even though in Latin America, the political and diplomatic nature of many economic integration projects may have not been all that evident back in the 1990’s, the Latin American experience has not only echoed, but amplified and perhaps even forecasted what would happen at the WTO. An understanding that the essence of IEL is linked to other spheres, and especially to the sphere of international politics and diplomacy. Latin American scholarly debate and the practice of Latin American international economic law have arguably made a significant contribution in this regard.