The Ambivalence of Juridification. On Legitimate Governance in the International Context


  • Regina Kreide



The paper argues that the current global market is organized by a system of transnational law whose development is best characterized as ambivalent. On the one side, legal juridification can lead to a hegemonic system of international law that lacks legitimacy, paradoxically creates extralegal spheres, promotes the ‘privatization’ of political areas, and, thereby, reduces the competences of states. On the other side, legal codification can also function as an engine of transnational democratization and as a barrier to an unhampered growth of transnational administrative and executive power. Scholarship on the idea of legitimacy in law and transnational governance in political and legal theory has to reflect these aspects of juridification on a world scale. Most approaches to the issue, however, have serious flaws: they neither offer an adequate empirical diagnosis of the de-embedding of international economic and legal processes, nor do they provide convincing proposals as to how such processes could be domesticated. Against this background, the paper lays out a critical analysis of legal codification processes as well as proposing an account of democratic governance, based on a realistic conception of deliberative democracy.