Establishing Connectivity: The Function of Norms in World Society

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Global law settings are characterised by a structural pre-eminence of connectivity norms, a type of norm which differs from coherency or possibility norms. The centrality of connectivity norms emerges from the function of global law, which is to increase the probability of transfers of condensed social components, such as economic capital and products, religious doctrines and scientific knowledge, from one legally structured context to another within world society. This was the case from colonialism and colonial law to contemporary global supply chains and human rights. Both colonial law and human rights can be understood as serving a constitutionalising function aimed at stabilising and facilitating connectivity. This allows for an understanding of colonialism and contemporary global governance as functional, but not as normative, equivalents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventNiklas Luhmann's Sociology of Politics and Law: Contemporary Significance and Reception - KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 17 May 201818 May 2018


ConferenceNiklas Luhmann's Sociology of Politics and Law
LocationKU Leuven
Internet address

Cite this