Book Review: Trade, Inequality, and Justice: Toward a Liberal Theory of Just Trade

Document Type



The most up-to-date version of this piece can be found in the Duke Law Scholarship


Frank Garcia's innovative book Trade, Inequality, and Justice proposes a theory of justice for the traditionally hard-nosed, bargain-based system of international trade. The book focuses on special and differential treatment for developing countries as a form of redistributive justice derived from a moral obligation on rich countries to ensure not only free, but just, trade. This review questions some of the basic premises of Garcia's theory within the scheme he himself selected (namely, John Rawls' Theory of Justice). It suggests that equal free trade may offer more to developing countries than special and differential trade (hence the title of the review Just Trade) and hints at an alternative based not on state-to-state relations and bargaining, but on fundamental human rights.

Date of Authorship for this Version

September 2005