The Politics of Time in Domestic and International Lawmaking
L. Pasquet, K. Polackova Van der Ploeg, and L. Castellanos Jankiewicz (eds), International Law and Time: Narratives and Techniques, Springer, 2018, Forthcoming
25 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017 Last revised: 2 Oct 2017
Date Written: January 6, 2017
This paper explores how domestic and international political discourses routinely invoke and construct different time horizons as a means to justify the creation of legal norms within their respective fields. The core hypothesis is that, in their routine development, national and supranational lawmaking processes are characterized by different temporal narratives, and that this mismatch occasionally causes frictions between these two levels of governance. In order to develop this central idea, I focus, first, on the socially constructed nature of time perceptions, which can be strategically manipulated in order to pursue specific policy goals. Next, I address the temporality embedded in legal norms, highlighting the dilemmas lawmakers face whenever they have to choose between pursuing a short- or a long-term objective. Based on these theoretical premises, I then turn to the dominant time narratives embedded in domestic and international lawmaking discourses. In particular, I argue that while domestic normative processes are characterized by a strong circular and short-term horizon, international law presents itself as a linear, long-term progression towards some ultimate goal of humankind. Finally, I discuss how the different time narratives enshrined in domestic and international lawmaking interact in shaping the temporal dimensions of global governance.
Keywords: international law, time, legal theory, lawmaking, sociology, politics of time
JEL Classification: k33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation