Craig Forcese


The prevailing view in the foreign policies of many Western countries

holds that "constructive" economic engagement with repressive regimes

will induce human rights sensitive development. A very vigorous

dissenting position, held by many opponents of "globalization," is that

economic engagement and liberalization fuel many of the very human

rights abuses they are supposed to cure. The empirical evidence tends to

support a nuanced approach to constructive engagement, one that might

be termed "responsible engagement." Under a responsible engagement

model, there remains an important role for economic sanctions, both as a

means of affecting the behavior of nation-states and to stave off the

possibility that citizens of one country are contributing to the persistence

of the targeted repressive regime. Responsible engagement obliges

recourse to "smart sanctions." Yet, the legal apparatus governing

economic integration is, on the whole, built without an eye to a "smart

sanctions" responsible engagement policy. This Article explores these

assertions and concludes that a full-fledged strategy of responsible

engagement obliges reconsideration and clarification of several facets of

the World Trade Organization