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Topics covered range from codes of conduct for multinational enterprises, to the human rights implications of the exploitation of natural resources. The book demonstrates the economic foundations and economic implications of legal frameworks. It puts into profile the often complex relationship between, on the one hand, international standards on liberalization and economic rationality and, on the other, state sovereignty and national preferences. It describes the new forms of economic cooperation which have developed in recent decades, such as the growing number of transnational companies in the private sector, and forms of cooperation between states such as the G8 or G20. Providing a perfect introductory text to the field of international economic law, the book thoroughly analyses legal developments within their wider political, economic, or social context.