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The Structural Characteristics of Global Law for the 21st Century: Fracture, Fluidity, Permeability, and Polycentricity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the structure of global law as an amalgamation of four fundamental characteristics that together define a new order in form that is, in some respects, the antithesis of the orderliness and unity of the law-state system it will displace. These four fundamental characteristics, fracture, fluidity, permeability, and polycentricity, comprise the fundamental structure of global law. Fracture is not the end of order but merely its re-ordering. Global law provides structure to the fluidity of a governance order made up of a large variety of actors who have little but the basic structures of their organization and operation in common. Global law posits the permeability of all governance systems, though, of course to varying degrees. The polycentricity at the heart of global law reframes the traditional approach to law that posits a dynamic population and a static and stable system into its inverse.

Keywords: fluidity; fracture; global law; governance order; governance systems; law-state system; permeability; polycentricity



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