The diversity and evolution of competition : an ideal proposed for regulatory design


University of British Columbia

Date Issued


Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy - PhD




This dissertation presents a concept of diversity as an ideal of international economic regulation. The theme of diversity refers to the differentiation of individual competitive strategies. The first advantage of such differentiation is argued to be as a means of stable and adaptive progress; increasing the number of possible techniques with which to meet as yet unforeseen challenges. As the first principle of diversity entails a method for systemic responsiveness, the second principle gives content to this method and states that social goals should serve as the incentives encouraging competitors toward differentiation. The advantage offered by the second principle is that social non-economic goals may be advanced in the present, as individuals attempt new routes to personal reward via the satisfaction of collective objectives that previously may have had little or no economic value. As an ideal of diversity contemplates a method of systemic incentives, rather than mandated outcomes, the location of innovation remains individual competitors. Accordingly, the ideal of diversity is justified and articulated from a basis in individual rights. Diversity is argued to be the optimal set of principles which individuals would select if given the ability to design a new competitive system. In joining a method of differentiation with the added social content of non-economic priority, diversity offers a unique blend of economic efficiency and equity; or of self-interest and concern for the welfare of others. Diversity allows an individual to think of their own pursuit of gain, but also and simultaneously further collective goals by selecting the priorities that should influence competitors toward differentiation. Other’s welfare becomes a route to individual success. The project progresses through three broad conceptual stages. First, international problems of market failure are considered in light of strategies and the economic impulses toward self and system defeating cycles of competition. Second, a redefinition of legal and economic progress is offered to meet conditions of unpredictability, and to arrive at an evolutionary method that encourages constantly competitive variation with which to meet society’s future challenges. Third, an evolutionary approach to international regulation is translated into a priority system of legal rights.


International legal theory

Date Available



Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International




Law, Faculty of