Transnational Economic Constitutionalism in the Varieties of Capitalism

The Italian Law Journal 2015, pp. 219-248

30 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018

See all articles by Gunther Teubner

Gunther Teubner

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität

Date Written: December 1, 2015


Notwithstanding the ordoliberal theories and the theories critical of a world ‘economic constitution’, globalization has not produced a unitary economic constitution, but a fragmented constitution of collisions: ie a metaconstitution of constitutional conflicts, whose conflicting units are no longer the national States, but the regimes of transnational production. The alternative (developed for national States by Franz Böhm and Hugo Sinzheimer) between an ordoliberal economic constitution and a social democratic economic democracy has resulted – as regards the current transnational economic constitution – in the opposition between continental Europe’s production regimes organized in a neo-corporative way on one hand, and Anglo-American inspired production regimes characterized by financial capitalism on the other. Contrary to all expectations, continental Europe’s neo-corporative economic constitutions have revealed a surprising resilience, notwithstanding globalization and the economic crisis. New opportunities for an economic-democratic constitutionalization are emerging in as much as social forces outside the corporation (and so, in addition to state intervention, legal regulations and the counterpowers of ‘civil society’ coming from other contexts: media, public discussion, spontaneous protest, intellectuals, opposing social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, professions) are putting such intense pressure on corporations so as to force them to self-limitations driven by the public wealth, as demonstrated by the ‘Corporate Codes’ case.

Keywords: transnational constitutionalism, economic constitutionalism, societal constitutionalism, globalization, economic constitution

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Suggested Citation

Teubner, Gunther, Transnational Economic Constitutionalism in the Varieties of Capitalism (December 1, 2015). The Italian Law Journal 2015, pp. 219-248. Available at SSRN:

Gunther Teubner (Contact Author)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, D-60323
0049 69 71034781 (Phone)
0049 69 798-34405 (Fax)


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