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Journal of International Law and International Relations


Much of the study of international private law has focused on exploring differences in legal systems in light of domestic issues or harmonization. Much less emphasis has been on accepting these various parochial interests as part of a global legal structure. This preliminary study into what drives parochial attitudes can help international trade scholars observe the traditions engendering these differing parochial attitudes and their impact on trade. Through a pluralist lens and in borrowing from studies in the social sciences on parochialism, this paper attempts to bring to light a world of "hybrid legal spaces" that adds complexity to the adjudication of commercial, foreign investment, and even trade disputes. It also asserts that these lessons can be useful in thinking about globalized legal education. Drawing from the experiences on teaching a course on NAFTA consisting of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican students, the author reflects on the impact of domestic parochial interests on issues of international trade and on ways that, particularly in the context of regionalism, building alliances beyond the parochial network can contribute to the formation of new common traditions that impact trade.

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