Unpacking Legal Network Power: The Structural Construction of Transnational Legal Expert Networks
Networked Governance, Transnational Business and the Law, Mar Fenwick, Steven Van Uytsel, and Stefan Wrbka, eds., Springer-Verlag Berlin (Forthcoming)
iCourts Online Working Paper, No. 5
26 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2013 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 5, 2013
Regulatory networks and other forms of networked governance have come to play an increasingly important role in what is now often referred to as global governance. Generally, most theories of global governance involve some kind of claim of a decline of the role of nation-states in international affairs and a corresponding growing power of experts. And, according to mainstream theory, it is this relative absence of the state that has provided a space for a rule by transnational experts. In lieu of the state and its legitimacy, transnational expert governance has then sought to legitimise its undertakings in notions of progress, effectiveness, (economic) rationality and other forms of non-democratic legitimacy. While this can be observed across a series of fields, it does not necessarily entail that the state has been side-lined quite as dramatically as what is often assumed. This paper argues that a significant part of the legitimacy and power of legal experts is in fact derived from their unique position in the state. And it is this precise social position that enables them to project semi-state power at the global scale.
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