Jamee K. Moudud


This Article adds to the literature that has linked feminist economics to foreign trade and development. It argues that two key factors need to be in place jointly if efforts to promote gender equity are to succeed. On the one hand it argues that foreign debt is an important constraint to domestic progressive social policies of all kinds as it increases the power of international creditors who generally tend to support austerity policies. On the other hand, while alleviating the burden of foreign debt via exportpromotion policies is necessary, it is by no means a sufficient condition to promote domestic gender and social justice goals. Domestic political pressures for such policies also matter although they operate in increasingly constrained spaces with growing levels of foreign debt. Since international trade is fundamentally international competition between firms located in different countries, the Article proposes a constitutional theory of the firm which situates profit-seeking business enterprises in their sociopolitical and legal contexts. This approach places the business enterprise, and its constitutional embeddedness, at the core of both trade performance and distributional questions. At the end of the day, the question of greater diversity within corporations cannot be divorced from the political and power struggles in the larger economic, social, and legal contexts within which the firm is embedded. The pressures of globalization are, needless to say, of enormous importance with regard to domestic social justice concerns.

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