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Open AccessArticle

(Un)Sustainable Development(s) in International Economic Law: A Quest for Sustainability

Faculty of Law, School of General and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, 3 Bolshoi Trexsviatitelskiy Str., 109240 Moscow, Russia
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4022;
Received: 21 October 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability 2018)
PDF [388 KB, uploaded 13 May 2019]


This article aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on post-capitalist economy by exploring the contours of a sustainability-oriented model of economic governance. To this end, the article analyzes the issues of sustainable development in the three main strands of international economic law (trade, investment, and finance) at national and transnational levels. The analysis reveals a policy interdependence between international economic law and sustainable development. The latter hence represents a specific regulatory construct that aims at compensating the losses of exhaustible resources with investments in technology and knowledge. This, however, merely justifies and legitimizes the over-exploitation of certain parts of the globe, including not only their natural resources, but also human and other capitals. To overcome these unsustainable models, the article proposes a paradigm shift away from the standard of sustainable development in international economic law, towards one of sustainability. The idea is to replace sustainable development with sustainable economy. Law can act as a trigger of such a shift through ensuring trust and cooperation between public institutions, private companies, civil society, local communities, and individual citizens. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability law; social justice; degrowth; low-carbon sharing economy; progressive sustainability agenda sustainability law; social justice; degrowth; low-carbon sharing economy; progressive sustainability agenda
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Aseeva, A. (Un)Sustainable Development(s) in International Economic Law: A Quest for Sustainability. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4022.

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