Why Justification? The Structure of Public Power in Transnational Contexts

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    This article asks the question why the social praxis of justification has moved to the centre-stage within the debate on transnational legal ordering. The starting point is the development of a generic concept of legally constituted public power aimed at breaking the frames that classically distinguish the national and the transnational and state and society. On that background, two structural differences between national and transnational public power are focused upon. First is the issue of constructing and delineating boundaries, which in national contexts is addressed through reference to territorial borders. Second is the issue of adapting decision-making to changing societal circumstances, which is addressed in national contexts through democracy. Both of these remedies are unavailable or only partially available at the transnational level. It is in order to respond to these deficiencies, it is argued, that a turn to justification has emerged at the transnational level of world society.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransnational Legal Theory
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)8-21
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Democracy
    • European Union
    • Justification
    • Transnational law
    • Transnational politics

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