Globalisations in time
[t]he trap of good intentions, in the name of a civilisation imposes forced assimilation on others in good conscience, persuaded that it is superior to ‘archaic’ and ‘barbaric’ practices which it fights the good fight.1Mireille Delmas-Marty
This chapter generally and selectively examines some of the preceding historical events of law (or legalities in a broader sense) spilling over its borders on a large scale. It is not the purpose of this chapter to provide an exhaustive analysis of legal globalisation from the ancients onwards. Instead, this chapter discusses key illustrations of legal globalisation in historical contexts, starting from ancient times and ending up with Europeanisation. The objective of this chapter is to provide a historical context for legal globalisation and, thus, question the view according to which legal globalisation is something previously unseen. This is important because much of the literature reflects an underlying assumption according to which legal globalisation is sui generis (a class by itself), which seems to imply that it is immune from alternative views to it. However, globalisation is not a force of nature as such, but of human making. Here it is shown that legal globalisation is rather nihil novi sub sole than sui generis, i.e. there is nothing new under the sun. This does not mean that we can use the past in order to predict the future but it does mean that we can use the past in order to better grasp our contemporary world of law.
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