New Book: Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in Transnational Markets 

Christian Joerges and Josef Falke are the editors of a new volume which appeared on Hart in June 2011. In light of the growing sensitivity to the social and economic risks of disembedding politics, the book discusses Polanyi's insights in the age of globalisation. It is based on discussions at a joint CRC 597/RECON workshop in Bremen in February 2009, which was organised as part of RECON's WP 9 - Global Transnationalisation and Democratisation Compared.


Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in Transnational Markets

International Studies in the Theory of Private Law - No. 8

Christian Joerges and Josef Falke (eds), Hart Publishing, 2011


The patterns and impact of globalisation have become a common concern of all international jurists, sociologists, political scientists and philosophers. Many have observed the erosion of the powers of nation states and the emergence of new transnational governance regimes, and have sought to understand their internal dynamics, re-regulatory potential and normative quality.

Karl Polanyi's seminal 'Great Transformation' is attracting new attention to such endeavours, mirroring a growing sensitivity to the social and economic risks of dis-embedding politics. Their re-construction by Polanyi, including his warning against a commodification of labour, land and money, provide the trans-disciplinary reference point for the contributions to this book.

Political economy, political theory, sociology and political science inform this discussion of Polanyi´s insights in the age of globalisation. Further theoretical essays and case studies look at his 'false commodities': money, labour (and services), land (and the environment). Jurists have hardly ever discussed Polanyi, and the law has not been taken very seriously among Polanyians. It is nevertheless clear that economic stability and social protection are simply inconceivable without the visible hand of law. The legal discussion in the concluding chapters does not, and cannot, depart directly from such premises. The framework of their analyses is, instead, informed by current debates on the emergence of para-legal regimes, the fragmentation of international law and the prospects of constitutional perspectives within which the rule of law and the notion of law-mediated legitimate governance are established. Polanyi´s notion of the co-originality of dis-embedding moves and re-imbedding countermoves can, however, be usefully employed in the re-construction of the sociological background of the moves and tensions which jurists discern.

Contributors: Alexander Ebner, Regina Kreide, Sabine Frerichs, Poul F. Kjaer, Martin Herberg, Olaf Dilling, Sol Piciotto, Peer Zumbansen, Jean-Christophe Graz, Markus Krajewski, Olga Batura, Josef Falke, Claire Methven O'Brien, Marc Amstutz, Karl-Heinz Ladeur, Moritz Renner, Lars Viellechner, and Christian Joerges.


See more at the publisher's website.