Review of International Studies 35 (5):2089-2106 (2011)

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Abstract
The idea that transnational dynamics challenge the regulatory capacity of the state has hardly ever received as much attention as in contemporary debates. Different voices denounce the crisis of the state and advocate the establishment of supranational institutions with legally coercive power. It is tempting to jump to the conclusion that these voices are concerned with the same cluster of problems. We think that one should resist this temptation. Firstly, not all the problems pointed out by the advocates of supranational sovereignty are of the same kind and structure. Some concern the need to limit the power of states, whereas others address the almost opposite necessity to support and strengthen their problem-solving capacity through forms of international regulation. Secondly, the corresponding solutions are different. In particular, although they may all imply the establishment of supranational institutions, not all such institutions need be global. The creation of a full-blown global rule of criminal law, for instance, would raise serious concerns of global despotism and cultural imperialism, and we therefore make a case for regional and context-sensitive solutions in this case. However, problems of supranational socioeconomic justice can only be addressed through global regulatory institutions, for regional institutions would, in this case, only recreate current problems at the interregional level.
Keywords cosmopolitanis  global institutions  international criminal law  supranational economic justices
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