Journal Article

The legitimacy of private transnational governance: experts and the transnational market for force

A. Claire Cutler

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 8, issue 1, pages 157-185
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwp027
The legitimacy of private transnational governance: experts and the transnational market for force

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This paper explores the roles that experts, specialized systems of knowledge and law play in the legitimization of private transnational governance. Governance of the global political economy and society is increasingly being shaped by private actors, institutions and processes that operate transnationally, linking local and global orders through complex laws and regulatory arrangements. These private governance arrangements are legitimized through their claims to possess expert knowledge and authority. However, adopting the lenses of critical theory, this paper seeks to problematize the tendency to defer unquestioningly to expert opinion. It argues that uncritical deference to experts is symptomatic of deeper conditions that are linked to the dominant form that law takes under contemporary capitalism. This paper examines the nexus between knowledge and power and the specific place that experts have in the legitimization of private modes of governance under contemporary conditions of post-modern legality and late capitalism. It advances critical theory as an approach to understanding the significance of technological rationality and expert systems of knowledge in the reproduction of transnational capitalism and in the creation of space for greater reflexivity in governance and the enhancement of individual autonomy.

Keywords: international relations; law; neo-liberalism; neo-Marxism; professions; transnational diffusion; K law and economics

Journal Article.  10956 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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