Out of Site: Transnational Legal Culture(s)

The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law, P. Zumbansen ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

23 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2020

See all articles by Helge Dedek

Helge Dedek

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 20, 2020


Since the inadequacy of the traditional theoretical frameworks for the study of the “global transformation of modernity” (Beck) became more and more visible in the last decades of the twentieth century, “culture” has figured prominently in many literature that theorize the post-national condition. Yet despite studying similar phenomena of displacement, fragmentation and hybridization, in legal academia, cultural analysis perspectives have traditionally played a rather marginal role in the discourse on globalization and trans-nationalization. Although some authors have indeed attempted to ope-rationalize the concept of culture in grappling with effects of legal globalization, the emerging field of transnational law never took a significant “cultural turn”. This chapter retraces this disciplinary development and reflects on the use of "culture" in transnational law discourse. While not advocating a more prominent role for the notoriously difficult concept of culture, this brief survey serves as a reminder that the same substantive and theoretical choices that kept transnational law from drawing more heavily on cultural analysis and traditional legal pluralism also may limit its scope and create theoretical blind spots.

Keywords: civilization, colonialism, culture, legal pluralism, legal culture, migration, methodological nationalism, neo-institutionalism, occupational cultures, postmodernism, third cultures, trans-nationalism, world culture, world society

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Dedek, Helge, Out of Site: Transnational Legal Culture(s) (August 20, 2020). The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law, P. Zumbansen ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678046 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3678046

Helge Dedek (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec

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