The recursivity of law: Global norm making and national lawmaking in the globalization of corporate insolvency regimes

Terence C. Halliday*, Bruce G. Carruthers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations

Abstract

For the past IS years an enormous enterprise of global norm making and related national lawmaking has been underway in many areas of global commerce. This article shows that leading global institutions, such as the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations, are building an international financial architecture with law - including corporate bankruptcy law - as its foundation. Building on research on international institutions and three national cases (China, Indonesia, Korea), the authors propose a new framework for legal change in a global context - the recursivity of law. They argue that the globalization of bankruptcy law has proceeded through three cycles: (1) at the national level through recursive cycles of lawmaking, (2) at the global level through iterative cycles of norm making, and (3) at the nexus of the two. Recursive cycles are driven by driven by four mechanisms - the indeterminacy of law, contradictions, diagnostic struggles, and actor mismatch. Thus the recursivity of law both revives and expands the sociological theory of legal change and offers a basis for an integrated theory of globalization and law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1202
Number of pages68
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume112
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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