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Between Law and Language: When Constitutionalism Goes Plural in a Globalising World


Ming-Sung Kuo


University of Warwick School of Law

August 21, 2010

Modern Law Review, Vol. 73, pp. 858-882, 2010

Abstract:     
Riding the wave of globalisation, scholars and practitioners envision global governance as a legalised world order. This international rule of law movement is centred on the idea of global constitutionalism. However, the constitutional view of global governance raises fundamental questions pertaining to the nature of international law, the culture of constitutional orders, and the future of global governance: What is the added value for the international legal system to be viewed in constitutional terms? How would comprehensiveness characteristic of traditional constitutional orders figure in an increasingly fragmented world order? Does the new era of constitutionalism herald a paradigm shift in thinking constitutionalism? “Ruling the World? Constitutionalism, International Law, and Global Governance,” edited by Jeffrey L. Dunoff and Joel P. Trachtman, attempts to illuminate the idea of global constitutionalism. Engaging with the contributors to the collection, this article aims to achieve two goals. In addition to providing a typology of global constitutionalism to help discern the distinct locales where global constitutionalism emerges and dissect its plural meanings, this article argues that global constitutionalism sits at the crossroads of law and language. The ambiguity between legal nomos and narrative language lies at the heart of the current debates surrounding global constitutionalism.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: typology of global constitutionalism, supranational legality, conflict of constitutional laws, constitutionalised international law, global governance, constitutional pluralism, constitutional self-aggrandisement, constitutional mindset, legal nomos and narrative language

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Date posted: May 10, 2010 ; Last revised: September 19, 2010

Suggested Citation

Kuo, Ming-Sung, Between Law and Language: When Constitutionalism Goes Plural in a Globalising World (August 21, 2010). Modern Law Review, Vol. 73, pp. 858-882, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1602064

Contact Information

Ming-Sung Kuo (Contact Author)
University of Warwick School of Law ( email )
Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/staff/academic/kuo/

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