6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
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Project 10 Detail:
Private Dispute Resolution: Legitimate and Accountable?
Project completed

This project explored modes and patterns of governance in the resolution of disputes arising from cross-border economic exchange both within Europe and at the international level. Based on the assumption that territorially restricted laws inevitably lead to constitutional uncertainty in transnational trade, questions of interest were:

-What institutional solutions have been established to solve such disputes?

-Where are these solutions located and who has established them? What are the conditions for their emergence and operation?

-How do different solutions relate to each other?

The questions were addressed with a combined European integration and international relations perspective. The findings of the project thus contribute to the overall framework of the integrated research framework on the new modes of governance by linking different strands of research in an innovative way. On the one hand, it linked the interest in new modes of governance with the discussion on the impact of inter- or transnationalisation of economic and societal interactions on the capacity of states to secure transactional security either individually, by multilateral treaty-making or by pooling sovereignty. On the other hand, looking at the field of dispute resolution in cross-border economic exchange through a politics-and-law lenses was not only inherently interdisciplinary, but also allowed for embedding the discussion on new modes and patterns of governance into the debate on the legalisation of international relations.

In both strands of research, the relationship between private and public actors and the emergence of new modes of governance was of central concern. Furthermore, both lines of research paid particular attention to the role and character of the European Union as the political and legal institutional framework. Finally, in addition to the interest in the question whether public and private arrangements are complementary or competing, a central question of the project referred to the relationship between the efficiency of a particular mode to solve transnational disputes and its legitimacy. By doing so, the project allowed for a close cooperation with other teams of the integrated project that addressed the analysis of new modes of governance with a focus on delegation and hierarchy (Héritier, Coen-Thatcher).

Research in candidate countries (Baltic states) was of particular value for several reasons:

-to explore whether or not the market based solution has been established in the transformation states;

-whether the fact the legal systems are not yet fully fledged influences the emergence and operation of private dispute services;

-to what extent the normative foundation of this private mode of governance has been established in former socialist states.



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