Puskhar Reddy ~ Breaking Away from Binaries: Can TWAIL Enrich Normative Views of the ‘Race to the Bottom’?

(2022) 3 TWAIL Review 116-133 
ISSN 2563-6693
Published under a Creative Commons licence

The ‘Race to the Bottom’ (RttB) hypothesis refers to global competition arising from the fluidity of transnational capital moving across national borders. Some states in the global North are concerned that the fluidity of transnational capital will stimulate countries to deregulate their markets. However, proponent nations – particularly in the global South – consider deregulation a viable means of attracting foreign capital. While the two arguments are not lacking in merit, their present binary is unrepresentative of the RttB hypothesis. This article examines the RttB hypothesis through the history of labour deregulation in India to seek an alternate framework to understand RttB beyond the global North versus global South binary. This article engages with contemporary TWAIL scholarship to reconsider the RttB debate through a non-statist perspective, creating a framework that accounts for the complex hierarchical struggles within a nation and highlighting the experience of marginalised communities in the face of RttB.