Globalization of Law Lecture Series: Lecture 2 | The Globalization of Law and Legal Thought

In the afternoon of October 14, 2022, the second lecture of Globalization of Law Lecture Series of the autumn semester of 2022-2023 academic year of the IIAS was held, with the theme of “globalization of law and legal thought”. The lecture was hosted by Lu Nan, an associate professor of Tsinghua University Law School and a member of the Teaching Committee of the IIAS, and Ma Yue, an assistant professor at the IIAS. Many researchers and doctoral students from the regional research institutes, scholars and students from universities at home and abroad, and people interested in relevant topics attended online and offline lectures.

This lecture is divided into four parts, including the background of the paper and the origin of the research, the three globalization of law and legal thought, and the history of legal succession in non western countries – taking India as an example, the trend of legal globalization after 2000. At the beginning of the lecture, Associate Professor Lu Nan introduced the background and research origin of the article “Law and the Three Globalization of Legal Thought: 1850-2000” by Professor Duncan Kennedy of Harvard University. He pointed out that the critical legal trend of thought that emerged in the United States in the late 1960s, the reflection caused by the two legal and development movements, and the initial appearance of changes in the world system after 2008 were the important background of the paper.

Then, associate professor Lu Nan discussed the three globalization of law and legal thought based on this paper. He first analyzed the characteristics of this paper. He thought it was a work full of strategic academic vision, covering a long time and a wide space. At the same time, the author describes the legal “discourse” and its legal practice and legal thought combined with different contexts, aiming at “revealing” the process of legal globalization in the past 150 years, so that the majority of non western countries have greater consciousness in the process of their own legal construction. Then, associate professor Lu Nan introduced the core content of the paper, that is, a detailed analysis of the characteristics, representatives and manifestations of the globalization of law and legal thought in the three periods. These three periods were respectively 1850-1914, 1900 – 1968, and 1945 – 2000, when the two legal thoughts were technically reconciled. On this basis, Associate Professor Lu Nan answered five key questions one by one, including the attraction of globalization of legal thought, the reasons why non western countries inherited western legal thought, the deep reason why each mode of legal globalization was declining, the reason why the third legal globalization did not form a unified paradigm, and the meaning of “politics is the law that continues by other means”, as Duncan Kennedy said.

In the third part of the lecture, Associate Professor Lu Nan discussed the history of legal succession in non-western countries, taking India as an example. He first introduced the transplant of British law in India before 1857 and the reform of Indian law from 1857 to 1947.

Then he analyzed the socialist tendency of Indian law after independence in 1947, and then introduced Rajiv Gandhi’s Indian liberalism reform and the legal nationalism and economic opening in Modi’s reign from a more macro perspective. Finally, associate professor Lu Nan discussed the trend of legal globalization after 2000. He pointed out that 2008 was a turning point in the development of the modern world system. From the perspective of law science, since the third globalization of law did not form a unified paradigm and adopted the strategy of pragmatism specific analysis of specific issues, as the conflicts between different strata within the country and between different countries in the world become more and more acute, it will become increasingly impossible for policy analysis and formalism to reconcile the deep-seated conflicts of interest between different interest groups and countries, The deep-seated contradictions of the globalization of American law are also exposed. At the same time, the developing countries present a parallel trend of nationalism in public law and liberalism in private law, and there are also some contradictions in such coexistence. In this case, some trends of social theory in Europe after the 1980s deserve attention, including the communicative action theory of J ü rgen Habermas, a famous German philosopher, and the social system theory of Niklas Luhmann, a famous German sociologist. These two theories reflect that Europe wants to go out of the path of globalization of legal thought different from that of the United States, This may be a new idea and a potential hope.

Finally, in the Q&A session after the lecture, Associate Professor Lu Nan and the on-site teachers and students had a heated discussion about the research value of Indian law reform, the basis of Indian legal thought, legal orientalism and other issues.

Lu Nan, associate professor of Tsinghua University School of Law and member of the Training Steering Committee of the IIAS, has a Juris Doctor degree from Tsinghua University Law School. His areas of interest include comparative law, legal culture, legal theory, and sociology of law. He has published a number of papers and articles, including Advantages and Disadvantages of Comparative Law in the Age of Globalization, The WJP Rule of Law Index: Origin and Evolution, The Status and Role of Non-Western Cultures in Comparative Law Teaching and Research, and The Invisible Commercial Law: New Trends in Legal Transplantation in the Era of Globalization, and edited a number of books including Discover Comparative Law, Handbook of Jurisprudence, and Globalization of Law: China and the World.

Text editor: Ding Ruilin
Typography editor: Cheng Yao
Proofreaders: Dong Hui and Ma Yue