The Rule of Law in Global Governance
The rule of law is commonly closely associated with the nation state. Ever more states commit themselves to rule of law standards and, moreover, the rule of law has become a prominent feature of legitimate statehood. As authority has started to shift from the national to the global level, so, too, has the rule of law. International law has expanded and mechanisms to foster its implementation have been strengthened. International organizations, transnational corporations and non-governmental organizations are today also expected to abide by rule of law standards and increasingly take steps to meet such expectations. All in all, we can observe a diffusion of rule of law standards within and across different levels of governance. This begs the question how rule of law standards diffuse, what causal mechanisms underlie this process, and how different public authorities interact in promoting the rule of law in global governance. This conference will address these issues in four main thematic panels which each address different dimensions of the subject matter. The first three panels focus on the upward diffusion of the rule of law and ask how elements of the rule of law emerge at the global level. The fourth panel addresses the downward diffusion of the rule of law,exploring the national reception of the international rule of law, and the feedback effect of national contestation processes on the international rule of law. It also addresses broader questions about the interaction of various normative orders and about the degree of pluralism necessary and desirable for promoting the rule of law within and beyond nation-states.
The panels respectively address the contribution of secondary rules to promoting the rule of law beyond the nation-state, explore the increasingly common demand upon international organizations to comply with international human rights standards, analyze the relationship between accountability and the international rule of law, and discuss the downward and upward diffusion of the rule law.