The Asian approach to global governance

Panel organised by: Francis Mianzhi Cao (Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History)

Panel description

Global governance through transnational and multi-lateral laws and frameworks enables the imposition of universally accepted standards and norms on a world envisioned as converging. International laws on dispute settlement, intergovernmental relation and financial governance are reflections of this vision of global governance. Indeed, dispute settlement mechanism is considered by many to have become a universal moral standard, and the international law regime and corresponding institutions have also expanded rapidly since the 1970s. Yet, while they have legal and moral force, they also face resistance and challenges in various jurisdictions. Similarly, international organizations, engendering domestic business law reforms, witness divergence from the new lex mercatoria and lex monetae. Asian countries have a tenuous relationship with this global governance paradigm, owing to their histories, cultures and unique legal contexts.

As the influence of China, Japan and Korea rises evermore, both regionally and globally, it becomes important to reflect on the Asian approach to global governance. Asian countries will no doubt play an increasing role in shaping international law and governance structures. The panel aims to understand the forms this could take and the reasons for this. It will analyse the operating principles through which these three countries approach global governance – legal diversity and sovereignty – through three specific case studies on dispute settlement, economic cooperation and financial governance. Each presentation considers how global governance is or should be approached, bearing in mind the principle of sovereignty, as well as legal and cultural diversity in Asia.

Fupeng Li will look at how dispute settlement methods are considered to be the “indisputableness”. He will explore the dispute settlement doctrine unfolding in negotiations with European nation-states for East-Asian troubled water and territory in late 18 century East-Asia. Fupeng will analyse how the philosophy of indisputableness can be apply to the practice of East-Asian governments to move regional peace and security agenda forward, and the obstacles to this, embodied in the principle of sovereignty and China’s cultural particularities.

Using the basis of Staatsrechtslehre, especially in sovereignty theory, UnHye Joe will throw a question, whether there is a ‘common interest’ in forming an institutional economic community, which Northeast Asia is preparing ambitiously nowadays, and suggests a methodology of how the future northeast Asian legal community can achieve constitutional political cooperation, while concentrating on their own highest cultural values. Drawing the comparison with the European Union, she will analyse the topic through methodological dualism and relativism.

Engaged in the discipline of sociological jurisprudence, Francis Mianzhi Cao argues that the concern for the integrity of monetary sovereignty underlies the transformation of China’s financial architecture. Positing monetary issues against the background of concentrating infrastructural power, he addresses the endogenous relationship between China’s state power and finance. The role of the state-driving development implicates across the border in the expansion of China’s state capitalism.

Paper proposal

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