Type: Working Paper
The UN sustainable development agenda and rule of law : how to limit global governance failures and geopolitical rivalries?
Working Paper, EUI LAW, 2021/10
PETERSMANN, Ernst-Ulrich, The UN sustainable development agenda and rule of law : how to limit global governance failures and geopolitical rivalries?, EUI LAW, 2021/10 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/72318
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
The 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda defines its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in terms of human rights, rule of law and multilevel governance of related public goods. Global governance failures challenge the ‘embedded liberalism’ and rule-of-law principles underlying UN and WTO law. WTO rules promoting non-discriminatory ‘regulatory competition’ among neo-liberal Anglo-Saxon countries, China’s totalitarian state capitalism, Europe’s multilevel constitutionalism and ‘third world conceptions’ of international law are disrupted by geopolitical rivalries. This contribution explains why the SDGs cannot be realized without multilevel legal and judicial restraints on ‘market failures’ (like environmental pollution) and ‘governance failures’ (like hegemonic trade wars, US disruption of the WTO dispute settlement system). As long as international law is conceived as power politics privileging domestic interest groups, the cosmopolitan SDGs risk being undermined. Protecting human rights and de-carbonizing economies require democratic struggles for holding governments more accountable, as illustrated by citizen-driven environmental litigation in Europe and by disregard for SDGs by authoritarian and populist governments.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/72318
Series/Number: EUI LAW; 2021/10
Publisher: European University Institute