43 Years of Impactful Scholarship

Volume 42, Issue 5

A New World Order: The Rule of Law, or the Law of Rulers?

President Trump’s on-going “trade war” with China is symptomatic of broader global changes to the world order that have been evolving for decades. To a large degree, these changes are grounded in the continuum of modern historical and geopolitical trends and a reiteration and possible resuscitation of 19th Century Great Power rivalries. This emerging new year in which we write brings with it the 75th anniversary of D-Day—and the New World Order ushered in by the “American Century” that soon followed. The transformation, created by the United States and key partners, was affected through what we shall refer to as the “Bretton Woods System” (“BWS”) that emanated from the Bretton Woods Conference, held in July 1944 in the small New Hampshire hamlet of that name. While changes are warranted, it is our belief that there is no reason to fundamentally alter or abandon the foundations of the BWS—nor to undermine the enduring principles of political democracy, market-based economic transactions, and transparent international rules, regulations, and laws on which it was built. Unfortunately, we are witnessing today serious attempts to do just that. In response, we believe there is a compelling need to reassess the BWS in the light of current realities and to formulate, not a new paradigm, but necessary correctives that will maintain the benefits of this remarkable creation yet will also acknowledge both present and future exigencies. To pursue policies contrary to the values inherent in the BWS, we assert, would create an existential danger to the world and its inhabitants and as such must be confronted and disrupted.

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Recommended Citation:

William Jannace and Paul Tiffany, A New World Order: The Rule of Law, or the Law of Rulers?, 42 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1379 (2019). 
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol42/iss5/2