Speed, law and the global economy: How economic acceleration contributes to inequality and precarity

Nicolás M. Perrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The law is implicated in many of the relations that produce inequality and precarity in the global economy. It contributes in different ways to the unequal bargaining power between states, capital, and labour. One way that has attracted less attention so far relates to how the law accelerates economic relations. This article examines the role of law in the global economy not by focusing on the international economic institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union (EU) or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but on the transactions that plug maquila workers and freelancers into the global economy. The argument is that the speed of these economic relations favours those who command international production, creating what Hartmut Rosa calls a 'frenetic standstill'. Importantly, the law can also contribute to changing these bargaining dynamics by slowing down some of these transactions and facilitating their territorial re-embedding. This strategy, however, requires a better understanding of the role of law in transnational networks of contracts as well as more state and non-state international co-ordination: The opposite of nationalist attitudes, such as Brexit and Trump's trade policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages20
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • critical theory
  • global value chains
  • international economic law
  • political economy
  • transnational law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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