The political economy of legal globalization: Juridification, adversarial legalism, and responsive regulation. A comment

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Abstract

This article is a critique of Kelemen and Sibbitt's "The Globalization of American Law" (International Organization, Winter 2004). I first deal with the inconsistency of their treatment of their dependent variable, suggesting that they should have examined the interaction of three different diffusion processes. I then suggest that the explanations that they provide for the globalization of the American style are inadequate, and that the explanations that they reject require a second look. Consequently, their article conveys at best a partial picture of the process of change, its sources, and its outcomes. I highlight their inadequate treatment of the World Society Approach (WSA), the notion of regulatory competition, and the reduction of the role of ideas and agency, particularly the role of neoliberal ideas and big American and European business, to mere reflections of economic processes of globalization and liberalization. I also suggest that Kelemen and Sibbitt's did not lift their gaze beyond the boundaries of the political science discipline. In particular I argue that they do not examine the interaction of juridification, legalization, and judicialization on the one hand and adversarial legalism and responsive regulation on the other. I conclude with some suggestions for an interdisciplinary perspective on the study of global legal and regulatory change.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Organization
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

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