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The chasm between the rich and the poor has become unfathomable. This Article asks whether existing international economic law can bridge this chasm and effectuate distributive justice. “Distributive justice” itself is an ambiguous goal. This Article inquires, as a threshold question, what, exactly, is required for actual “distributive justice”. It takes as a starting point the relatively modest objective of the Millennium Development Goals—to halve the number living in extreme poverty by 2015. It argues that this objective is not going to be achieved under the aegis of international economic law for two reasons. First, distributive justice is not an objective of international economic law. Second, even if the political will existed, distributive justice would be unattainable because “international economic law” is not a coherent legal subject with the capacity to make it happen. Neoliberalism cannot be relied upon to produce distributive justice, but neoliberalism is not the only game in town.


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7 Sep 2022
247 kB



  • Subject
    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 30

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 3

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022