Year of publication
- Article (16) (remove)
- English (16) (remove)
- The King's many bodies: the self-deconstruction of law's hierarchy (1997)
- The article connects two strands of the recent sociolegal debate: (1) the empirical discovery of new forms of spontaneous law in die Course of globalization, and (2) the emergence of deconstructive theories of law that undermine the law's hierarchy. The article puts forward the thesis that law's hierarchy has successfully resisted all old and new attempts at its deconstruction; it breaks, however, under the pressures of globalization that produced a global law without the state, as self-created law of global society that has no institutionalized support whatsoever in international poliucs and public international law. Consequently, the article criticizes deconstructive theories for their lack of autological analysis. These theories do not take into account the historical condicions of deconstruction. Accordingly, deconstructive analysis of law would have to look for new legal distinctions that are plausible under the new condicions of a doubly fragmented global society. The article sketches the contours of an emerging polycontextural law.
- Global private regimes: Neo-spontaneous law and dual constitution of autonomous sectors in world society? (2000)
- 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.