Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Peter L. Lindseth
Chapter 37: Individual Rights and Transnational Networks
Francesca Bignami Today the paradigm of public policymaking is global, not simply national or local. Rules and standards are decided, fiscal and macroeconomic policy is determined, and policy commitments are enforced through regional and global institutions that have simultaneously built upon and transformed their national bureaucratic counterparts. Some of these institutions are traditional international organizations and tribunals, which have proliferated and expanded over recent years. Yet transnational regulatory networks, in which decisionmaking occurs through routine contacts among national civil servants, are quickly becoming the primary institutional vehicle through which cross-national policymaking occurs. Networks marry domestic bureaucratic capacity with transnational policy ambitions and thus fall at the intersection of a number of disciplines: administrative, criminal, and constitutional law, international law, public policy studies and international relations theory. These different research traditions have begun to raise and offer answers to a number of important questions about the nature and promise of regulatory networks: Under what circumstances do states choose to cooperate through networks as opposed to international organizations and more traditional international institutions (Raustiala 2002, Eilstrup-Sangiovanni 2009)? Relatedly, what are the advantages and disadvantages of networks over more traditional forms of international cooperation (Slaughter 2004, Verdier 2009, Zaring 1998)? Under what circumstances can this form of transnational cooperation be expected to generate international convergence or other types of policy outcomes (Singer 2007)? And what types of public law metrics should be used to evaluate regulatory networks and how has the experience so far measured up to the chosen normative metric (Kingsbury et...
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