31 October Pufendorf Research Seminar: Hans T. Lindahl (Tilburg)

Professor Hans T. Lindahl (Dept of Philosophy, Tilburg School of Humanities) has kindly agreed to present a draft chapter from his forthcoming OUP monograph on the “Fault Lines of Globalisation: Legal Order and a Politics of A-Legality” on the occasion of a Pufendorf Research Seminar on 31 October 2012 at 13.15-15.00 hrs (Styrelserummet, Level 4, Juridicum).

On Lindahl’s work: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/about-tilburg-university/schools/humanities/dphil/staff/lindahl.html

Here is an abstract:

“The emergence of transnational legal orders has profoundly influenced how contemporary legal and political theory approaches the concept of law. If the spatial boundaries of nation-states had been largely taken for granted as constituent features of legal order during the acme of the municipal/international law paradigm, transnational legal orders retrospectively expose those boundaries as a contingent feature of law. Building on this insight, political and legal theories have sought to articulate a general concept of legal order that need not rely on spatial boundaries as one of its constituent features, and to think through the normative implications of this epochal transformation for law and politics. Even though this conceptual and normative reorientation understands itself as introducing a drastic shift away from the paradigm that has dominated Western legal and political theory during the past centuries, one may wonder whether it does not inadvertently continue and perhaps even entrench the state-centred thinking about boundaries it claims to leave behind. Indeed, to claim that spatial boundaries are no longer a constituent feature of post-state legal orders is effectively to hold that the boundaries of the territorial state, or of earlier spatially bounded communities, exhaust the manner in which legal orders close themselves into an inside vis-à-vis an outside. This assumption has been so overwhelmingly obvious that, to the best of my knowledge, there is not a single contribution to legal or political theory that directly and systematically poses the question whether the kind of closure afforded by the boundaries of state territories exhausts the spatial closure of law, let alone whether it is its primordial manifestation. Moreover, I know of no legal or political theory that integrates the question about spatial boundaries within the more general question about the kinds of boundaries that might be ingredient to law as a normative order. I will argue that no legal order–not even a global legal order that is putatively erga omnes–is possible that is not bounded spatially, temporally, materially and subjectively; legal orders are, by definition, bounded legal orders. I will then go ahead to discuss the normative implications of the account of legal order I will sketch out, contrasting these to both cosmopolitanism and communitarianism.”