This original study takes its cue from theoretical and ideological calls to challenge globalisation as a dynamic whose forces of homogenisation – and resistance – are led from, and directed against, a diffuse conception of the Global North. The book asks: what can we see when we shift the lens from known and usual understandings of legal globalisation towards lesser understood and apparently invisible processes? And moreover, how can we go beyond a North-South binary to understand legal change?
The study of law and globalisation has developed into a mature field over the past twenty years, with a variety of empirically grounded theoretical understandings of (trans)national legal fields and orderings. Yet, despite the dynamics of legal pluralism and the ripple effects of legal transplants and transformations, there have been pushes and shoves against the globalising ambitions of these theoretical canvasses. The ongoing surge of populism in Europe and the United States is challenging the policies and institutions of what we even think of as the “global” and the prominence taken by China is questioning the position of the United States as an unrivalled hegemon in global political, economic, social and legal diffusion processes.
Through empirical studies that focus on “frontier-zones” of legal globalisation in a variety of postcolonial sites including India, Pakistan and Latin America, the book suggests a process of de-centering through reflexivity on the individual and structural variables that account for individual trajectories within the field.
The chapters are framed as a relational dialogue between young and prominent scholars within the field, from the US core through to postcolonial academic peripheries, and set out a framework to question the possibilities – and limits – of critiques on legal globalisation scripts.
The reflections consider how scholars build their voices individually, but also how, collectively, they can build a space for critique to question and push against legal globalisation scripts.