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Global Governance: An Heretical History Play

Global Jurist Advances, Vol. 4, No. 2, Article 3, 2004

51 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2004 Last revised: 14 Apr 2015

Fleur E. Johns

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law


This article begins from an intuition that aspirations for governance on a global scale have been seeded among the historical habits of humanism, as well as among those economic and technological phenomena on which other scholars of globalization most frequently focus. It argues that Modern predilections for constitutionalizing, distinguishing, ranking, tempering and charting, and fearing that which resists such handling, are as significant to contemporary perceptions of globalization and its governance as any of the technological and economic developments said to underpin it. This argument is elaborated by interpolating some contemporary accounts of global governance with unlikely historical counterpoints drawn from the sixteenth century city-state of Venice: historical counterpoints that draw attention to the vital role of the foreign, the popular and the vulgar in building and defending centres of global governance. In so doing, this article aims to probe the ambiguous role that Modern political legacies play in contemporary scholarship. Transgressive potential is not, this article argues, exterior or opposed to monolithic accounts of global governance: it is there at their every inception.

Keywords: Globalization, global governance, history, law, Venice, foreigners, international law

JEL Classification: F01, F22, N43, K19, K33

Suggested Citation

Johns, Fleur E., Global Governance: An Heretical History Play. Global Jurist Advances, Vol. 4, No. 2, Article 3, 2004. Available at SSRN:

Fleur E. Johns (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

UNSW Australia
Sydney, New South Wales 2052
+61 2 9385 9893 (Phone)


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