PILAGG SEASSON II (2015-…)
PROBING (PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL) LEGAL KNOWLEDGE IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: A DANGEROUS METHOD? (2015 Workshops)
I. GLOBAL PARADIGM AND LEGAL METHOD(S) (6 March):
The emergence of a global legal paradigm upsets assumptions/fictions developed within the modern, Westphalian model, which takes the law to be a self-contained, stable and coherent system and designs its method(s) accordingly. To what extent, then do comparative and internationalist perspectives provide plausible alternative legal methodology(ies) within an emerging “global legal paradigm”? Paying critical attention to law in global context is likely to constitute a “dangerous method” with respect to its subversive and emancipatory potential.
II. LAW AND AUTHORITY WITHOUT (STATE) PEDIGREE (April):
Competing, diffuse, post-Westphalian forms of authority and correlative displacements of power to non-state actors are difficult to capture in legal terms. Is it possible to take seriously – whether to legitimize, challenge, or govern – new, diffuse and disorderly expressions of authority and normativity which do not necessarily fit traditional forms of legal knowledge, nor respond to familiar methods of legal reasoning? While private international law seems to deny the adequacy of legal pluralism, either to assess legitimacy of such claims or to solve conflicts between them, what are the alternative accounts of informal law (s) beyond the state?
III. GLOBAL LAW AND INTERDISCIPLINARY INQUIRY (May):
Law’s status as (empirical) social science, repeatedly mooted then rejected in the name of its “internal” or dogmatic perspective, is arguably the most significant methodological debate in its modern history. But what is it about globalization which makes the need for interdisciplinarity resurface today in view of rethinking legal method? Is global law a relevant object of inquiry for the social sciences? Can the methods of private international law help frame a common problematic?
IV. CO-PRODUCTION AND EPISTEMOLOGY (September):
To what extent can the “idiom of coproduction”, developed within science and technology studies, be brought to bear in order to understand (demystify) the relationship between law and supposedly external or non-legal phenomena such as markets, scientific facts, or the internet, by showing up the importance of social choice? What are the implications for the governance of global spaces, which are in the traditional remit of private international law?
V. GLOBAL LEGAL CULTURE: CHIMERA OR THREAT (October):
What does law as cultural knowledge mean beyond the state? Is standardization/pateurization of legal knowledge inevitable in this context? Is there any room for the idea of cultural community beyond the state? Private international law has stood until now for the protection of cultural difference as among national cultures. How does globalization, with increased interaction with non-Western traditions which rely on customary, indigenous or religious laws, affect its traditional perspective?
VI. NEW GENEALOGIES, CRITICAL GEOGRAPHIES (November):
The genealogy and geography of legal traditions are the focus of new critical approaches to comparative law and global legal history(ies). Several of these have turned to other types of knowledge (for instance, aesthetics) as resistance to the increasing standardization of legal space beyond the state in the wake of the quantitative turn and the dominance of economics. To what extent are they helpful in understanding the vocabularies and ideologies of global law? To what extent does the global turn involve a revival of pre-modern methods of private international law, within a discipline which is said to thrive on historical cycles of decline and renewal?
VII. THE SURVIVAL OF PIL AS A DISCIPLINE (December):
Private international law pre-existed the emergence of the modern state. Arguably however, it did not appear as a discipline before the latter part of the XIXth century. As such, its content was predominantly methodological and rested upon a specific epistemology which linked it on the one hand to the vision of the international legal order carried by its public international counterpart, on the other to a particular (essentially continental) understanding of private law. Today, its methods are challenged both by the rise of the global, and by the constitutional/human rights turn. Can it/should it survive as a discipline?