In international economic relations now the chatter of communication is on the increase. Sometimes loud, coherent and decisive. Sometimes in languages little understood. And still on other occasions in passionate but passive background voices. This orchestra is without a doubt with many instruments but absent a formal conductor the jungle of instruments compete for audience attention and influence on the basis of string power and drum beats! Communication flows in international economic affairs now embrace various mediums, and involve a variety of participants. The mediums take the oral form in meetings, negotiations, lectures, conferences and telecommunications. They also take the published form in the printed and electronic medium through newsletters, journals, books, websites and e-mail fora. By the same token the participants involved can be States, international organisations, individuals, academics, practitioners, and students --- both as authors and recipients of communication.
In this disorganised sea of communication flows are to be found agencies of communication organisers that facilitate coherent communication flows. One such agency is the Journal which enables the organisation of a certain standard, transparency and clarity in scholarship. In International Economic Law the law journals are indeed established; and have played an important role as facilitators of debate, scholarship and as mediums of influence. By and large the agencies have been a success --- although it is only in the last decade or so that the number of Journals in the field have been on the increase. But then so has International Economic Law developed in some leaps during this period. The pressure of the international economic law chatter however is still there and there is capacity for more facilitators. In particular, given that International Economic Law in all its spheres is a vast discipline --- not just international trade. And that there is indeed a reservoir of impressive scholarship all over the world --- including the developing world, in this sphere --- the need to optimally avail the international community of these resources, and to inject in it diverse perspectives, is important. Equally, the somewhat bipolar scene of international economic relations, as between the international trade and the development mantles needs to be avoided --- not least because this would be divisive and contribute to a polarised rather than a measured focus on international economic relations in a holistic manner. Further, debate about development, which is a fundamental tenet of international economic law, to be effective, needs to be brought and conducted also from one of the centres from which it can be facilitated viz., one of the international developed centres of the world.
Against this background this Journal of International Economic Law as an agency of communication aims at facilitating a focus on the full ambit of international economic relations --- including particularly the development perspective --- by all manner of communicators for all relevant listeners. This Journal is first and foremost an International Economic law Journal. Its geographical origins breathe a nomenclature to it to distinguish it from other Journals in the field. Manchester also as a city is a good symbol of globalisation; international in its racial and cultural diversity; and occupies an important place in the history of international economic relations --- being the city from where came one of the original calls for free trade. Appropriately therefore the matches in international economic scholarship should result in goals from Manchester too!
I am grateful to Yanpin Liao for her editorial assistance, the referees for their advice and the Advisory Board for its support.
Asif H QureshiEidtor in Cheif