The Politics of Private Transnational Governance by Contract: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Politics of Private Transnational Governance by Contract

1st Edition

Edited by A. Claire Cutler, Thomas Dietz


308 pages

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pub: 2018-08-23
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This edited volume provides critical reflections on the interplay between politics and law in an increasingly transnationalized global political economy. It focuses specifically on the emergence and operation of new forms of governance that are developing through a variety of transnational contractual practices, institutions, and laws in multiple sectors and areas of economic activity.

Interdisciplinary in nature, the volume includes contributions from law, political science, sociology, and international politics, with the focus on the political foundations of transnational contract being both original and path-breaking. Placing power at the center of the analysis, the volume reveals the heterogeneous landscape of contemporary law-making and the different kinds of politics giving rise to this form of global ordering. As the contributors note, this new form of governance requires a different type of political theory and legal theory, with the volume advancing understanding of the analytical, theoretical and normative dimensions of private transnational governance by contract, making a valuable contribution to new theory in law and politics.

It will be of great interest to students and academics in law, political science, international relations, international political economy and sociology, as well as international commercial arbitration lawyers, trade and investment lawyers, and legal firms.


‘Cutler and Dietz have brought together a diverse set of authors who together give us a brilliant critical interrogation of the rise of private sector experts in domains concerned with public interests. This has become an increasingly important and alarming issue. A must read.’Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, USA, author of Expulsions

'In this path-breaking interdisciplinary volume of political scientists, sociologists, and legal scholars, the authors not only demonstrate that non-hierarchical "governance by contract" dominates both state and private regulations in the global political economy but they also elaborate the power dimension of these arrangements. A must read for anybody interested in knowing how the global economy ticks!' - Thomas Risse, Professor of International Politics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Table of Contents


Liberalism’s Global Mirror: Worldwide Contracting and ‘No Alternative’?

[Peer Zumbansen]


Chapter 1

The Politics of Private Transnational Governance by Contract: Introduction and Analytical Framework

[A. Claire Cutler and Thomas Dietz]

PART I: Analytical and Theoretical Dimensions of Private Transnational Governance by Contract

Chapter 2

Contract as Normative Regulation and the Implied Rule of Law

Christopher May

Chapter 3

Governance by Contract from a Perspective of Power: The Case of Land Grabbing

[Doris Fuchs and Anne Hennings]

PART II: Trade and Production: Global Value Chains and Transnational Private Governance by Contracts

Chapter 4

Private Transnational Governance in Global Value Chains: Contract as a Neglected Dimension

[A. Claire Cutler]

Chapter 5

The New Gatekeeper: Ethical Audits as a Mechanism of Global Value Chain Governance

[Genevieve LeBaron, Jane Lister, and Peter Dauvergne]

Chapter 6

Relational Contracts 2.0: Efficiency and Power

[Thomas Dietz]

PART III: Trade, Investment, and Dispute Settlement: Arbitration as Transnational Private Governance by Contract

Chapter 7

Arbitration as Transnational Governance: Legitimacy Beyond Contract

[Fabien Gélinas]

Chapter 8

Private Arbitration as a Mechanism for the Construction of Contractual Norms in Private-Public Relationships: The Case of Investor-State Arbitration

[Edward Cohen]

Chapter 9

Theorizing Private Transnational Governance by Contract in the Investor-State Regime

[A.Claire Cutler and David Lark]

PART IV: Sectoral Specifications of Private Transnational Governance by Contract

Chapter 10

Contractual Governance and Sectoral Fragmentation of Transnational Contract Law

[Joshua Karton]

Chapter 11

Transnational Carbon Contracting: Why Law’s Invisibility Matters

[Natasha Affolder]

Chapter 12

Merchants of Hegemony: Neoliberalism and the Legitimacy of Private Contractual Governance in the Transnational Cotton Trade

[Amy A. Quark]

Chapter 13

Regulating Private Military Security Companies by Contract: Between Anarchy and Hierarchy?

[A. Claire Cutler and Stephanie Law]


Chapter 14

Empire through Contract: A Private International Law Perspective

[Horatia Muir Watt]

About the Editors

A. Claire Cutler isProfessor of International Law and International Relations in the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Thomas Dietz isProfessor of International Relations and International Law in the Institute of Political Science at the University of Münster, Germany.

About the Series

Politics of Transnational Law

Politics of Transnational Law is edited by Tanja Aalberts and Wouter Werner (VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

This interdisciplinary series explores the changing dynamics between politics and law in a globalizing world. These dynamics illustrate the growing importance and vitality of cross disciplinary research that transcends traditional disciplinary divides, domains and categories. Focused on the ‘Politics of Transnational Law’, this series provides a platform for studies that critically reflect on the interplay between politics and law as international and transnational practices. It investigates the heterogeneous landscape of contemporary law-making, and the different kinds of politics this global ordering relates to. The series is unique in that it is jointly shared by the law and politics divisions within Routledge and will be actively promoted in both subjects areas.

Editorial Committee for the series:

Prof. dr Jeffrey Dunoff, Temple University Beasley School of Law, USA
Prof. dr Fleur Johns, University of New South Wales, Australia
Prof. dr Friedrich Kratochwil, Central European University, Hungary
Prof. dr Anna Leander, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Prof. dr Gregor Noll, Lund University, Sweden
Dr Sarah Nouwen, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, UK
Dr Nikolas Rajkovic, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

This is a new series and we are keen to receive proposals for new books. To submit or discuss a proposal please contact: Siobhan Poole, Editor (Law) [email protected] or Emily Ross, Senior Editor (Politics) [email protected]  

Learn more…

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