Theorizing Transnational Legal Ordering

Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 2016, Forthcoming

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-06

34 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016 Last revised: 8 Apr 2020

See all articles by Gregory Shaffer

Gregory Shaffer

Georgetown University Law Center

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 29, 2016


This article categorizes three approaches to theorizing transnational legal ordering that respectively address private legal ordering, provide a framework for the study of the interaction of law-making and practice at the transnational, national, and local levels, and reconfigure the concept of law. The first approach develops theories of private legal ordering, involving lawmaking, adjudication, and enforcement though non-state actors and institutions. The second approach provides a theoretical framework for socio-legal study of the transnational processes through which legal norms are constructed, flow, and settle across national borders. The processes can be top-down, bottom-up, horizontal, and transversal, involving interaction among different public and private organizations and networks at different levels of social organization, from the transnational to the local, potentially giving rise to distinct transnational legal orders. The third approach develops theory to critique and reformulate the concept of law in transnational terms that include non-state processes.

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, Gregory, Theorizing Transnational Legal Ordering (February 29, 2016). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 2016, Forthcoming, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-06, Available at SSRN:

Gregory Shaffer (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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