Global Law as Intercontextuality and as Interlegality

In The Challenge of Inter-legality. Cambridge, UK: pp. 302-318 (2019)
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Since the 1990s the effects of globalization on law and legal developments has been a central topic of scholarly debate. To date, the debate is however marked by three substantial deficiencies which this chapter seeks to remedy through a reconceptualization of global law as a law of inter-contextuality expressed through inter-legality and materialized through a particular body of legal norms which can be characterized as connectivity norms. The first deficiency is a historical and empirical one. Both critics as well as advocates of ‘non-state law’ share the assumption that ‘law beyond the state’ and related legal norms have gained in centrality when compared with previous historical times. While global law, including both public and private global governance law as well as regional occurrences such as EU law, has undergone profound transformations since the structural transformations which followed the de-colonialization processes of the mid-twentieth century, we do not have more global law relatively to other types of law today than in previous historical times. The second deficiency is a methodological one. The vast majority of scholarship on global law is either of an analytical nature, drawing on insights from philosophy, or empirically observing the existence of global law and the degree of compliance with global legal norms at a given moment in time. While both approaches bring something to the table they remain static approaches incapable of explaining and evaluating the transformation of global law over time. The third deficiency is a conceptual-theoretical one. In most instances, global law is understood as a unitary law producing singular legal norms with a planetary reach, or, alternatively, a radical pluralist perspective is adopted dismissing the existence of singular global norms. Both of these approaches however misapprehend the structural characteristics, function and societal effects of global law. Instead a third positon between unitary and radical pluralist perspectives can be adopted through an understanding of global law and its related legal norms as a de-centred kind of inter-contextual law characterised by inter-legality.
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