The vain search for legal unity in the fragmentation of global law
in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
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Global legal pluralism is not simply a result of political pluralism, but is instead the expression of deep contradictions between colliding sectors of a global society. It has its origins in contradictions between society-wide institutionalised rationalities, which law cannot solve, but which demand a new legal approach to colliding norms. This chapter develops the thesis with three arguments. (1) The fragmentation of global law is more radical than any single reductionist perspective can comprehend. (2) Any aspirations to a normative unity of global law are thus doomed from the outset. A meta-level at which conflicts might be solved is wholly elusive both in global law and in global society. (3) Legal fragmentation cannot itself be combated. At best, a weak normative compatibility of the fragments might be achieved. However, this is dependent upon the ability of conflict law to establish a specific network logic, which can effect a loose coupling of colliding units.

Critical theory and legal autopoiesis

The case for societal constitutionalism

Editor: Diana Göbel


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