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Three Takes: New Release from BC Law’s Garcia

BC Law Prof. Frank Garcia (Photo by Suzanne Camarata)

By Melissa Beecher | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 23, 2013

International trade has been essential to the wealth and power of nations for centuries. It has also become one of the key areas in the ongoing dialogue surrounding global justice.

Prof. Frank Garcia’s new book Global Justice and International Economic Law: Three Takes proposes a radically new way to evaluate, construct and manage international trade. Garcia, known for his work in international economic law, social justice and globalization, focuses Three Takes on motivating a new approach to global justice theory as it relates to international law.

Questioning the way global justice has been theorized, Three Takes argues that by its nature global justice requires a comprehensive, pluralistic mode of argumentation. It was an organizational approach, Garcia explains, that he arrived at thanks in large part to his wife, who suggested that his earlier work with Rawlsian liberalism, communitarianism, and consent theory be put side by side, to see what they might might say to one another “if they were all to attend a dinner party.” From there the conversation developed with colleagues on the faculty and around the world similarly engaged in global justice issues and also looking for a fresh approach.

“The approach I took to this research is to take a step back. Each of these ideas works in a distinct mode on difference aspects of the problem - but rather than argue for the superiority of one, it reveals more about global justice to see what each can contribute to the analysis and the prescriptions,” said Garcia.

In a review of Three Takes, Jeffrey Dunoff, Law Professor and Director of the Institute for International Law & Public Policy at Temple University, said: "The relationship between international economic law and global justice is surely one of the most crucial - but least studied - questions posed by globalization. With this important volume, legal scholar Frank Garcia steps into this scholarly void."

And to the skeptic that questions if global justice can be achieved? Garcia says: “Its not an option to proceed as if its not possible! I’d tell them to look out the window and consider how interconnected the world has become. Globalization is creating new connections, not just institutionally, but from person to person, and those connections have fundamental normative implications for both law and justice. The idea that justice would not play a role in that world is at best an obstacle in itself, and at worst an excuse.”

Garcia’s research underlies his contribution to a forthcoming joint symposium issue of the Boston College Law Review and the International & Comparative Law Review on Filling Power Vacuums in the New Global Legal Order. Garcia said the event proved an excellent venue in which to consider the trends discussed in Three Takes because his colleagues and the invited panelists already shared a commitment to both global law and justice.

“Part of what makes the BC law faculty unique among globally engaged faculties is our commitment to ensuring that the words "global" and "justice" always travel together,, which is part of the institutions overall commitment to justice as an essential part of legal education and research ” he said. “As society becomes global, we want to ensure that justice remains an essential part of that transformation.”

Global Justice and International Economic Law: Three Takes is available on here. This, and other BC faculty publications, are featured on the BC Book Blog.