Contemporary International Lawmaking in a Global Context: Between Privatization and Reinforced State Dominance
02 / 2009 - 02 / 2012
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Bali, 3-14 December 2007) and the Oslo process on the prohibition of cluster bombs (Geneva, 7-13 November 2007) - which recalls the Ottawa process on the prohibition of Land Mines - have recently illustrated the growing role of civil society in international lawmaking. They have confirmed that States, although they remain a cornerstone in global lawmaking, are no longer the exclusive lawmakers on the world plane. The few earlier studies of that phenomenon have overlooked that we are simultaneously witnessing a reinforcement of the grip of States on international lawmaking processes. This research accordingly aims at examining the heterogeneity of international lawmaking by focusing in two particular tendencies: - The privatization of global lawmaking: the expanding role of individuals, NGOs and corporations in international lawmaking. - The enhanced State dominance in global lawmaking: the reinforcement of the role of States in global lawmaking whether through the classic formal channels of lawmaking (treaties and international organizations) or through the new forms of informal lawmaking at the international level (governmental networks and transnational lawmaking). When looking at these various dimensions of international lawmaking, this research will provide a precise understanding of the way in which privatization and enhanced State dominance articulate with each other: Are these two contradictory developments? Or are they complementary? In examining these questions, the research will help evaluate the extent to which the contemporary features of international lawmaking procedures affect the content of global regulations. It will be particularly relevant in this respect to analyze whether the privatization of international lawmaking underpins the progressive character of international law and whether State dominance leads to the adoption of more conservative international rules.