This book has investigated why states use adjudication for trade disputes, showing that domestic political pressure influences trade law enforcement through legal strategies. It has also examined the effectiveness of adjudication as a dispute settlement mechanism. This concluding chapter reviews the theory about the political role of adjudication. It considers the tension in how adjudication represents both conflict and cooperation between states as they escalate a trade dispute but do so within agreed upon rules. The tendency to sue friends reflects this dynamic—within a broadly cooperative relationship, trade adjudication can be part of business as usual. The chapter ends by extending the implications of the argument for a broader theory of legalization in international relations.
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