In the current globalization debate the law appears to be entangled in economic and political developments which move into a new dimension of depoliticization, de-centralization and de-individualization. For all the correct observations in detail, though, this debate is bringing about a drastic (polit)economic reduction of the role of law in the globalization process that I wish to challenge in this paper. Here one has to take on Wallerstein’s misconception of “worldwide economies” according to which the formation of the global society is seen as a basically economic process. Autonomous globalization processes in other social spheres running parallel to economic globalization need to be taken seriously. In protest against such (polit)economic reductionism several strands of the debate, among them the neo-institutionalist theory of “global culture”, post-modern concepts of global legal pluralism, systems theory studies of differentiated global society and various versions of “global civil society” have shaped a concept of a polycentric globalization. From these angles the remarkable multiplicity of the world society, in which tendencies to re-politicization, re-regionalization and re-individualization are becoming visible at the same time, becomes evident. I shall contrast two current theses on the globalization of law with two less current counter-theses: First thesis: globalization is relevant for law because the emergence of global markets undermines the control potential of national policy, and therefore also the chances of legal regulation. First counter-thesis: globalization produces a set of problems intrinsic to law itself, consisting in a change to the dominant lawmaking processes. Second thesis: globalization means that the law institutionalizes the worldwide shift in power from governmental actors to economic actors. Second counter-thesis: globalization means that the law has a chance of contributing to a dual constitution of autonomous sectors of world society.
Deutsche Fassung: Globale Privatregimes: Neo-Spontanes Recht und duale Sozialverfassungen in der Weltgesellschaft. In: Dieter Simon und Manfred Weiss (Hg.) Zur Autonomie des Individuums. Liber Amicorum Spiros Simitis. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2000, 437-453 und in Bruno Dechamps, Eduard Kroker (Hg.) Zeitenwende, Verlag Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch, Frankfurt 2001, 169-175. Englische Fassung: Global Private Regimes: Neo-Spontaneous Law and Dual Constitution of Autonomous Sectors? In: Karl-Heinz Ladeur (Hg.) Public Governance in the Age of Globalization. Ashgate, Aldershot 2004, 71-87. Italienische Fassung: Regimi privati globali: diritti neo-spontanei e costituzione duale di settori autonomi nella società-mondo? . In: Gunther Teubner, Costituzionalismo societario. Armando, Roma 2004 (im Erscheinen). Französische Fassung: Un droit spontané dans la société mondiale? In: Charles-Albert Morand (Hg.) Le droit saisi par la mondialisation. Bruylant, Bruxelles 2001, 179-220. Portugiesische Fassung: Regimes privados: direito neo-espontaneo e constituicoes dualistas na sociedade mundial. In: Gunther Teubner, Direito, Sistema, Policontexturalidade, Editora Unimep, Piracicaba Sao Paolo, Brasil 2005, 105-128