Prisms of distance and power: Viewing the U.S. regulatory tradition

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Distorted images of American regulatory ideas and practices frame foreign responses to these practices as well as foreign views of the economic policies of the United States. US power both embeds and contributes to these distorted images. This article highlights the evolution of these distortions and the ways in which business history has intertwined with legal and political history throughout the evolution, It focuses on a specific area of regulation – antitrust or competition law – in order to ground the more general discussion. The article provides insights into the relationship between cognitive distance and power and into its pernicious effects on transnational discussions and decisions involving competition law.