Power and Production in Global Legal Pluralism: An International Political Economy Approach
Socio-Legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, Context, Subtext, Amanda Perry-Kessaris, ed., 2013
34 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2013
Date Written: February 23, 2013
If it is correct to describe the contemporary global scene as fragmented, with multiple, overlapping legal orders everywhere, legal pluralism seems a most useful heuristic to have at hand. Global legal pluralists typically take up an enthusiastically cosmopolitan/internationalist style that decentres, if not elides, the continuing persistence of states. There is also an accompanying tendency to bracket the ways in which power relations define and then configure legal norms and institutions that regulate economic life at multiple levels. Not only is there a naiveté about power that infects the global legal pluralist account, one also loses sight of the partiality and ideological tilt of the contemporary global scene. In this chapter I question the utility of global legal pluralism in the absence of an accompanying account of power currently being exercised in global legal domains principally, but not exclusively, via state agency. As a corrective, I supplement the pluralist account with insights drawn from the critical branch of international political economy (IPE). IPE aims to bring both politics and economics to bear on the study of international politics. The aspiration is to bring law into dialogue with this branch of IPE with a view to better ascertaining the political stakes involved in analyzing the rise of a particular branch of global economic law, namely, international investment law.
Keywords: global legal pluralism, international political economy, investment law
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