The Political Foundations of Conflicts Law

Transnational Legal Theory, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 227-241, 2011

16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011 Last revised: 27 May 2015

Date Written: December 14, 2011


On the backdrop of the conflicts law approach developed by Christian Joerges basic features of a transnational concept of the political is developed. The starting point is the insight that statehood has experienced rapid expansion in both depth and scope in recent history. Thus, the central site for democratic decision-making is not experiencing decline. Statehood has, however, always been a limited form of social ordering which have operated in conjunction with other forms of social ordering located beneath, besides and above the state. The central structural cause behind the recent expansion in statehood was the implosion of the euro-centric world and the subsequent decolonization processes which unfolded in the 20th century. Besides leading to a globalization of statehood this transformation also implied a transformation of transnational forms of ordering away from colonial centre/periphery differentiation and towards the kind of functionally delineated regulatory regimes which is the dominant form of transnational ordering today. Understanding the consequences of this fundamental transformation is the central issue which contemporary transnational legal and political theory, including the conflicts law approach, is dealing with. But whereas central aspects of a new concept of transnational law have already been developed a concordant concept of transnational politics is still lacking. Such a concept must reflect the functional delineated setup of contemporary transnational processes as well as the specific social functions which transnational processes reproduce.

Keywords: Conflict of laws, Christian Joerges, deliberative supranationalism, transnational democracy, European law, global law, transnational law, transnational politics

Suggested Citation

Kjaer, Poul F., The Political Foundations of Conflicts Law (December 14, 2011). Transnational Legal Theory, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 227-241, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Poul F. Kjaer (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000

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