A Legal Theory of Economic Power

A Legal Theory of Economic Power

Implications for Social and Economic Development

New Horizons in Competition Law and Economics series

Calixto Salomão Filho

In this provocative book Calixto Salomão Filho builds a strong case for why economic power cannot be considered a mere market phenomenon. Taking the forgotten realities and effects of these power structures into account, this comprehensive legal analysis persuasively argues the need for a new theory.

Chapter 4: Conclusion: From a General Theory of Economic Power to a General Theory of Law?

Calixto Salomão Filho

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, law and economics, law - academic, competition and antitrust law, law and economics


The intention of building a general legal theory of economic power, expressed in this work, is justified. As demonstrated, the fundamental traits of a common empiric phenomenon are present in many ways by which economic power manifests itself. There are at least three important common features identified in this book. Be it deriving from market structure, legal structure, or social structure of dependence in relation to natural resources, economic power always ends up generating totalizing social and economical draining, able to subject social and political spheres to its intent. The many ways of social and economic draining, identified throughout this work, are nothing but an example of the broad effects of the structures of economic power. More importantly still, economic power, in any of its manifestations, has as its feature and nature the ability to substitute law in the organization of the social relations. This is its most worrisome face (at least for the jurist). By substituting the law, it is able to eliminate any possibility of reaction and social transformation arising from the realm of values. That is why the third common trait of the structures of economic power deserved special attention to the point of becoming the guideline of the work. It is the structural discipline to which economic power must be subjected. Even if they have different methods depending on the source of economic power (market, law or social relations) they have common traits that were revealed throughout the work. It is important to emphasize that these...

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