Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Sabino Cassese
Chapter 2: The proliferation of global regulatory regimes
The concept of ‘global regulatory regime’ originates from studies in political science and international relations. These disciplines were the first to speak of an ‘international regime’ as ‘a set of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given area of international relations’. Thus, ‘international regime’ identifies, on the one hand, a regulatory function (principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures), and on the other, the sector (a given area) to which it applies. The concept of ‘regime’ was then borrowed and adapted within the field of the legal analysis of the global institutions that hold regulatory powers. In particular, the studies on ‘Global Administrative Law’ (GAL) played a primary role in the conceptualization of many of the decisions that constitute what is known as global governance in terms of ‘administrative regulation’. The emergence of ‘global administrative regulation’ is demonstrated ‘by the rapid growth of international and transnational regulatory regimes with administrative components and functions’, the ‘most dense’ of which ‘have arisen in the sphere of economic regulation’. Global administrative regulation, therefore, generates – and itself develops within – an extraordinary multitude and variety of ‘global regulatory regimes’, each of which is characterized by its specialty and its tendency to remain separate from the others. The ‘global regulatory regimes’ do not coincide with international organizations. Rather, they are a far more flexible, yet also more ambiguous and elusive, concept.
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