Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On Law, Politics, and Judicialization$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Shapiro and Alec Stone Sweet

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199256489.001.0001

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 November 2015

Islands of Transnational Governance

(p.323) Islands of Transnational Governance
On Law, Politics, and Judicialization

Alec Stone Sweet

Oxford University Press

The two papers in Ch. 5 examine how lawyers and law professors, operating in private arenas, successfully revived a pre-modern legal system, the Lex Mercatoria – the international body of trade law derived from merchant practice. Stone Sweet’s paper traces the development of a transnational legal system, comprised of a national contract law and a network of arbitration houses that compete to supply third-party dispute resolution to the international commercial world. The paper is divided into two parts. The first discusses, in a theoretical manner, obstacles to the emergence of a stable network of traders engaged in relatively long-range, impersonal exchange, focusing on three generic problems of human community: cooperation and commitment, transaction costs, and institutional choice and governance. The second part examines three quite different regimes that have governed transnational commercial activity: from the mediaeval law merchant, to the Westphalian state system and its institutional failings (including discussion of conflict of laws practices), and – the principal focus of the chapter – the new Lex Mercatoria and its institutionalization.

Keywords:   arbitration, commitment, conflict of laws, cooperation, dispute resolution, governance, institutional choice, institutionalization, international commerce, international trade law, Lex Mercatoria, mediaeval law, merchant practice, national contract law, trade law, transaction costs, transnational commerce, transnational governance, transnational legal system, Westphalian state system

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .