21 Ratio Juris 1 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/raju21 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Ratio Juris. Vol. 21 No. 1 March 2008 (1-18)


Transnational Communities

and the Concept of Law


ROGER COTTERRELL*


Abstract. The proliferation of forms of transnational regulation, often unclear in
their relation to the law of nation states but also, in some cases, claiming authority
as law, suggests that the concept of law should be reconsidered in the light of
processes associated with globalisation. This article identifies matters to be taken
into account in any such reconsideration: in particular, ideas of legal pluralism, of
degrees of legalisation, and of relative legal authority. Regulatory authority should
be seen as ultimately based in the diverse moral conditions of the networks of
community which regulation serves.


This article's concern is with globalisation and the concept of law. It asks:
What is the significance of globalisation for legal theory's attempts to
analyse the nature of law? Putting matters differently: Is it necessary to
conceptualise law in new ways because of changes in the conditions
and forms of regulation brought about by processes associated with
globalisation?
  To invoke globalisation, however, is always problematic. To refer to it
is to indicate a vast and indeterminate topic. Most often the term is taken
to encompass a range of (possibly interrelated) changes in the nature of (i)
transnational economic (commercial, financial, etc.) relations, (ii) popula-
tion movements between countries, (iii) cultural influences, commitments
and bonds, and (iv) processes of global communication. More specifically,
it usually refers to claims about the increasing intensity and scale of these
relations, movements and processes, and to a sense of the compression of
global space and time, so that the transnational effects of events, situations
and actions arise more quickly, directly and powerfully than in the past.


* This article is based on the text of a paper given at a colloquium on Globalisation and the
International Community at the University of London Institute in Paris on April 14, 2007.
I am grateful especially to Andre-Jean Arnaud for valuable comments.

 2008 The Author. Journal compilation  2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DO, UK and
350 Main Street, Malden 02148, USA.

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