Legal Patterns of Global Governance: Participatory Transnational Governance

64 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2006

See all articles by Rainer Nickel

Rainer Nickel

University of Frankfurt am Main, Institute for Public Law; Cornell University School of Law

Date Written: 2006


Multilevel trade governance and transnational social regulation put democratic self-regulation under stress. A growing number of supra- and transnational norms, rules, and regulations on trade, environmental issues, or any other field of regulation, prove that we are facing another great transformation, the transformation of international relations and intergovernmental politics into law-generating fora, with government and private networks and a number of court-like institutions as central actors. This process of transnational juridification limits parliamentary rooms for manoeuvre and comprehensively alienates many citizens submitted to transnational regulation from this process.

This contribution attempts to clarify the mechanisms at work. In a second step it seeks to identify possible concepts that could grasp this transformation, and confronts them again with the problem of self-government. In a bow to the particularities of the transnational sphere, it tries to resist the methodological nation-state trap. Instead, it supports a constitutionalization of participative structures in global administrative governance. The outline, degree, and limits of such a concept are not self-explaining. The EU and its attempts to integrate civic participation, thus, may illustrate concrete outlines of such a project. This reconstruction allows for concluding observations on global structures and the constitutionalization of participatory transnational governance on a global scale.

Keywords: Participation, governance, accountability, legitimacy, transparency, access to documents, EU, global law, international regimes, supranationalism, networks, regulation, NGOs, civil society, democracy, participatory transnational governance, participatory democracy

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K22, K33

Suggested Citation

Nickel, Rainer, Legal Patterns of Global Governance: Participatory Transnational Governance (2006). CLPE Research Paper No. 01-5. Available at SSRN: or

Rainer Nickel (Contact Author)

University of Frankfurt am Main, Institute for Public Law ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt, 60323

Cornell University School of Law ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States


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