Europäische Liberalisierungspolitik

of the Project


Topic and Goal of the Conference

The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars from the fields of law, economic sociology and comparative political economy to discuss the role of law and legal legitimacy in the governance of transnational economic relations. Particular attention will be given to how different legal systems, such as the German, Italian and US-American ones, become interlinked with transnational legal standards and rules in the fields of commercial, corporate and labour law. The increasing relevance of transnational legal norms for the governance of cross-border economic relations raises a number of questions regarding the types and origins of legitimacy of law. These questions will be investigated more deeply in the contributions to this conference.
While the rule of law in the context of the nation state has been closely connected to state authority, law and legal norms in the transnational sphere arise from a much more complex set of interactions between private and public actors and institutions. Transnational law often consists of fragmented rule systems with a multi-level structure in which various private and public actors claim authority over the definition, implementation and enforcement of rules. How, and under which conditions, do legal standards and norms gain legitimacy? What kind of legitimacy is it? Does it build on principles of democratic representation in decision-making, deliberative elements of democracy, on the expertise of private actors or transparency of procedures, or specific combinations of these? What are the sources that are mobilized and the mechanisms that provide legitimacy to transnational legal norms in a situation in which rule setting and rule following remains a fragile and easily contested activity?
The conference “Law and Legitimacy in the Governance of Transnational Economic Relations” will provide an interdisciplinary forum for scholars from the social and legal sciences to reflect on the meaning of legitimacy in the context of transnational law. Senior researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and scholars from other leading academic institutions in this field of research will be invited. The conference thereby offers an opportunity for academic exchange between the Italian and German academic communities, as well as between scholars from Europe and North America more broadly. The goal of the conference is to clarify the meaning of different notions of legitimacy and their empirical relevance in specific fields of transnational economic governance


Organization and contact

Sigrid Quack

Phone +49 221 2767-152

MPIfG: Research Group Europäische Liberalisierungspolitik | [Last updated 25.03.2014 17:13]