Extraterritoriality in a Globalized World

30 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 1997

See all articles by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

David T. Zaring

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department


This article examines doctrines governing extraterritorial jurisdiction and their evolution in response to the forces of globalization. These doctrines were shaped in this century first by the shift from private law to public power that attended the rise of the regulatory state, and then by a particular concern with the rise of American power. The emergence of a globalized economy poses a new set of challenges and temptations likely to require a rethinking of the fundamental bases of extraterritorial jurisdiction. This article does not undertake that task, but examines the current state of US law on extraterritorial jurisdiction and discovery with an eye to future trends. It proposes that a number of current judicial decisions are best analyzed not as definitive assertions of government power but rather as interim efforts to ascertain the nature and intensity of a foreign government?s preferences. Further, it examines the temptation to use courts as tools of foreign policy, insisting on the need to distinguish between unilateral foreign policy objectives and cooperative or coordinated transnational legal solutions to global problems. Finally, it argues that globalization poses a problem of deciding when national actors can legitimately escape national regulatory obligations by moving offshore. Efforts to address this issue may portend a synthesis of the doctrinal tests applicable to ascertain the scope of regulatory jurisdiction with respect both to foreign entities acting in or with an effect on national territory and domestic entities acting abroad.

JEL Classification: K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Slaughter, Anne-Marie and Zaring, David T., Extraterritoriality in a Globalized World. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=39380 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.39380

Anne-Marie Slaughter (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-4800 (Phone)

David T. Zaring

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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