Collision of Global and Local Legal Orders in the World Society: Elements of Critical Systems Theory

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:54
Oral Presentation
Lasha BREGVADZE, Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia
Law without the state is everywhere – both on global and on local levels. Social systems theory has been productively used for describing collisions between functionally differentiated regimes on the transnational level – new type of “conflict of laws” in the world society. However increasing processes of globalization do not exclude the evolution of local legal structures. Functionally differentiated subsystem of law is internally differentiated not only into function-specific sectors, but also due to global and local layers of legal rationality. Indeed new forms of non-state transnational regimes do collide with local spontaneous legal orders, while both operating beyond the state control. Global law of economic markets is in collision with the local law of multiple life-worlds. While anthropologists of law have been exclusively studying alternative forms of indigenous law in confrontation with the state law, and sociologists of global law have been concerned about ideas of emerging global orders beyond the national political control, important interactions between local and global legal rationalities have been left without empirical identification and theoretical generalization. Transnational corporations bringing their “global law without the state” to divergent local spaces, but also the development agencies manipulating with “project law” and intervening within the local social environments are both appropriate target groups for studying the interplay, interactions and collisions between global and local laws. It will be argued in the paper that social systems theory offers much critical potential for elaborating an alternative theoretical perspective, backed by empirical evidence, about the multidimensional character of legal evolution without the state. Freed from political domination, global and local legal rationalities – transnational commercial law vs. local intuitive legal orders – as societal normative orders are colliding and conflicting with each other and these clashes cannot be mediated by state but need alternative forms of societal coordination and steering.