Constitutionalizing Connectivity: The Constitutional Grid of World Society

Journal of Law and Society 45 (S1):114-34 (2018)
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Global law settings are characterized by a structural pre-eminence of connectivity norms, a type of norm which differs from coherency or possibility norms. The centrality of connectivity norms emerges from the function of global law, which is to increase the probability of transfers of condensed social components, such as economic capital and products, religious doctrines, and scientific knowledge, from one legally structured context to another within world society. This was the case from colonialism and colonial law to contemporary global supply chains and human rights. Both colonial law and human rights can be understood as serving a constitutionalizing function aimed at stabiliz- ing and facilitating connectivity. This allows for an understanding of colonialism and contemporary global governance as functional, but not as normative, equivalents.

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Poul F. Kjaer
Copenhagen Business School


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