Managerial Rationality in Global Governance: Driving Legal Behaviour through Indicators
International Journal of Law in Context, 13,4 pp. 465–484 (2017)
28 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021 Last revised: 19 Jan 2022
Date Written: 2017
Managerial devices are rapidly developing as a means for driving the legal behaviour of organisations, including those of states and corporations. This article explores the managerial rationality underpinning global legal indicators, and the constraints they convey on legal behaviour. In particular, it argues that indicators are better understood as part of a system of management control and distributed governance, which is steadily eroding state-centred forms of authority, including state law. In this context, legitimacy and reactivity are contingent to their cycle of production and implementation, which is fourfold: data-collecting, benchmarking, auditing and allocating incentives. Each process is meant to generate respectively subjectification, self-knowledge by comparison, accountability and stimulus for action. Indicators with higher degrees of legitimacy become entrenched in institutional practices and legal decision-making processes. The article concludes that regulatory spaces where indicators unfold need critical and political scrutiny to expose their pernicious effects, undesirable uses, and inevitable misuses.
Keywords: Indicators, management, data-cycle, legitimacy
JEL Classification: K10, K20, K30, P17, P48, M40, M48, L10, L50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation