Taking uncertainty seriously : adaptive governance and international trade: a reply to Rosie Cooney and Andrew Lang

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    The use of experts' power in global networks is often concealed by describing it in the register of scientific truths. This text seeks to illustrate the phenomenon by reference to the recent article by Cooney and Lang, 'Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Adaptive Governance and International Trade', which appeared in this journal. The account those authors give of WTO law goes beyond a purely legitimacy-based structure focused on effectiveness. Instead, the question is framed in terms of cognitive achievements by regulators in the member states. The present article uses Cooney and Lang's project and the same example of the WTO in order to evaluate global governance. In so doing it analyses the functionalist style of public law, together with neofunctionalism and the historical phenomena by which increasing areas in the public sphere are attributed to regulators, both national and international. With this article, the author hopes to contribute to the debate about the tensions caused by the legal activity of international organizations in a world of equal sovereigns with unequal access to power. In conclusion it is suggested that, so far as contemporary global governance is concerned, the distribution of jurisdiction through regulation is the sphere in which the usual political struggles between international actors take place.
    TidskriftEuropean Journal of International Law
    Sidor (från-till)167-186
    Antal sidor20
    StatusPublicerad - apr 2009
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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