Legitimacy and Autonomy

Roxana Banu

in Nineteenth Century Perspectives on Private International Law

Published in print July 2018 | ISBN: 9780198819844
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191860102 | DOI:

Series: The History and Theory of International Law

Legitimacy and Autonomy

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This chapter provides an analysis of state-centered and individualistic theories of legitimacy in PrIL and distinguishes them from the relational internationalist perspective. It shows that state-centered theories determined the legitimacy of applying one law or another within interstate relationships. Individualistic theories linked the legitimacy of the applicable law to particular dimensions of political affiliation. By contrast, this chapter shows how relational internationalist authors envisioned different dimensions of legitimacy from both the state-centered and the individualistic positions, by focusing on an interpersonal relationship, as opposed to an isolated individual, and on private law, as opposed to constitutional or public law generally. According to the relational internationalist perspective, the legitimacy of imposing one law over another is justified on different grounds, including by reference to the actions of the parties, their expectations, the values underlying private law relationships, and the embeddedness of a legal relationship within one or several communities.

Keywords: political legitimacy; social legitimacy; good faith; social responsibility; individual liberty

Chapter.  19263 words. 

Subjects: Private International Law and Conflict of Laws

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