Transnational Regimes as Constitutional Subjects |

Transnational Regimes as Constitutional Subjects


During the last few years, a series of public scandals has raised a new kind of constitutional problem. Multinational corporations have violated human rights; the World Trade Organization has made decisions that have endangered the environment or human health in the name of global free trade; and global capital markets have unleashed catastrophic risks. Compared to the constitutional questions of the 18th and 19th centuries, these new problems of today are different, but no less constitutional. Then, the concern was how to release the energies of political power in nation states and at the same time to limit that power effectively. With these new constitutional questions, the concern is again how to both release and limit new energies - energies that lie, for example, in the economy, in science and technology, in medicine, and the in new media. But here, these energies reside in transnational spheres that lie beyond the national state.

Constitutional lawyers rooted in nation states have raised grave doubts about whether transnational institutions - such as the World Trade Organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names  and Numbers (ICANN), and the emerging lex mercotoria - can have their own constitutions. In this seminar, Professor Teubner will challenge that view, arguing that transnational regimes can develop functional equivalents to the features necessary for a constitutionalized order. These include the following: a "demos", the collective body behind the constitution; the dialectic of pouvoir constituant - pouvoir constitue, the legitimacy arising from the democratic consensus of all stakeholders; the infrastructure of a political pluralism; and the surplus of meaning of a collective founding myth.

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Prof. Gunther Teubner, Professor of Private Law and Legal Sociology, Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main

Friday, 31 August 2012
5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-1
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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