International Law and Global Public Goods in a Legal Pluralist World

European Journal of International Law, Vol. 23 (2012)

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-17

24 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Apr 2013

See all articles by Gregory Shaffer

Gregory Shaffer

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2013

Abstract

The world faces multiple challenges in producing global public goods, such as climate change mitigation, financial stability, security from nuclear terror, knowledge production, and the eradication of infectious diseases. International law scholarship, in the meantime, takes a turn towards celebrating pluralism without sufficiently accounting for institutional variation to address different contexts. Those writing on global public goods challenges, at the same time, tend to come from disciplines other than law. So what is international law’s role in the production of global public goods? Where are greater international legal constraints and international institutions needed, and where should international law retain slack? Three analytic frameworks (global constitutionalism, global administrative law, and legal pluralism) have been advanced to address international law’s place in global governance, but these frameworks have not explicitly addressed the challenges of producing global public goods. This article breaks down different types of global public goods, and explores how these different frames apply to them. Grounded in pragmatism, the article shows why there is no single best approach. Rather, legal policy should be tailored to the type of global public good at stake in light of comparative, real world, institutional trade-offs.

Keywords: global public goods, legal pluralism

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, Gregory C., International Law and Global Public Goods in a Legal Pluralist World (April 1, 2013). European Journal of International Law, Vol. 23 (2012); Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2243063

Gregory C. Shaffer (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92612
United States

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