Transnational governance raises challenging questions about the appropriate roles of legal institutions, states, and global markets in realizing and protecting social and environmental sustainability. Diverse groups of actors, ranging from multinational companies to grassroots social movements, engage in manifold strategies to respond to the consequences of economic globalization on local environments, precarious workers, and Indigenous and traditional communities. This chapter evaluates transnational governance activities in light of a dichotomy between two opposing globalizations, one which is focused on realizing economic solutions to the economic factors that threaten sustainability, the other which leverages the mobilization of bottom-up social movements to develop political responses. Through examples of private rulemaking, corporate self-regulation, transnational constitutional movements, extraterritorial legislation, and transnational litigation, this chapter identifies conflicts about the capacity of global markets to guarantee social and environmental sustainability, as well as the role of the contemporary state and its institutions in governing global market actors.
Paiement, Phillip, ‘Transnational Sustainability Governance and the Law’ in P Zumbansen (ed) Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law (Oxford University Press 2021)
This article draws on the notion of co-production to assess the construction of transnational narratives in climate change litigation. Using the examples of recent cases from the Netherlands, Norway, and Ireland, the article identifies a common narrative regarding the temporal dimension of climate change and its governance. Litigants are shown to develop a notion of urgency for national climate policies with the help of symbols and discourses—including pathways, crossroads, milestones, thresholds and carbon budgets—in order to attribute meaning to complex models of the future climate, and the immediate responsibilities of states to limit future global warming. In response, states offer depictions of the future in which technological and economic evolutions render our current climate crisis less challenging and costly. This narrative approach helps make sense of the transnational legal strategies through which our understanding of responsibility and climate justice is unfolding.
Paiement, Phillip ‘Urgent Agenda: How Climate Litigation Builds Transnational Narratives’ (2020) 11 Transnational Legal Theory 121-143