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26 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 1 (2019)


This article explores the question "what does the future hold for the globalization of law?" In analyzing the future of legal globalization, I suggest that analyzing the recent rise of authoritarianism, both at the national as well as transnational plane, offers significant insights. I make three related observations regarding the rise of authoritarian politics. First, the rise of authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes and the blend of populism with authoritarianism at the national contexts seems to obstruct globalization of law. This is likely due to the fact that the power of authoritarian politics mostly comes from their populist appeal to the masses who stand to lose from globalization. For such appeal to continue, authoritarian politicians cultivate antiglobalization rhetoric and practices. The end result is a move away from globalized relations and institutional connectedness between different national legal systems. The similarity of the grammar out of which such authoritarianism is produced in various different national contexts, however, urges us to reflect on the globalized relations that structure such similarity. Second, the rise of authoritarian tendencies in domestic and supranational institutions, particularly in the name of political and economic emergency, may bring about a level of legal uniformity and thus globalization of law. I suggest, however, that what globalizes in such context is an essentially instrumentalized version of law, and a deeper reflection on "what globalizes?" is required as well as whether it could properly be called "law." Third, as an extension of the second point, this article focuses on neoliberalism as the broad political economic background that informs the globalization of law in the post- 1980 period. I suggest that the instrumentalization of law, both domestically and internationally, is rendered possible by the fact that, under a neoliberal economic way of thinking and practice, economization spreads to all spheres of life and renders other institutional settings adjunct to itself. Such instrumentalization also includes the law and takes away from the power of this institutional field.