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Advanced Introduction to Law and Globalisation

Jaakko Husa

This Advanced Introduction offers a fresh critical analysis of various dimensions of law and globalisation, drawing on historical, normative, theoretical, and linguistic methodologies. Its comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach spans the fields of global legal pluralism, comparative legal studies, and international law.
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Theorising globally

Jaakko Husa


Herein, first of all, lies the central challenge for the comparative law teacher and legal theorist in the field of globalised legal education: the absence of any worldwide agreement, in theory as well as in practice, about the central object of globalised legal studies, namely ‘the law’ itself.1Werner Menski

Where does legal globalisation start from? When it comes to earlier forms of legal globalisation like the spread of Roman law or colonialism that we dealt with in Chapter 2, we have the benefit of temporal distance, which is helpful in analysis of factors behind globalising processes. One of the key difficulties involved is of a theoretical nature and has to do with our framework of legal thinking. What actually is it that we mean by law? Obviously, things like global law or rule of law, constitutionalism, and lex mercatoria are what we mean by ‘law’ or by ‘legal’. In the preceding chapters we used the notion of legality, legalities in the plural, to refer to various forms of law, partially overlapping and sometimes colliding. The issue is not, however, conceptual or merely a question of definition. When it comes to legal globalisation there are also serious theoretical issues involved that go beyond substantive legal issues. We may think that the law is now global but, then again, what do we mean by ‘law’?

Before laws and other types of normativities spill over the borders we need to have an underlying idea according to which laws can...

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