In a period of rising threats to constitutional government within countries and among them, it is a crucial time to study the rule of law in transnational context. This framework paper defines core concepts, analyzes the relation of national and international law and institutions from a rule-of-law perspective, and assesses the extent to which rule-of-law practices are shifting at the domestic and international levels in parallel. Part I explains our conceptualization of the rule of law, necessary for the orientation of empirical study and policy responses. Following Martin Krygier, we formulate a teleological conception of the rule of law in terms of goals and practices, which, in turn, calls for an assessment of institutional mechanisms to advance these goals, given varying social conditions and contexts. Part II sets forth the ways in which international law and institutions are important for rule-of-law ends, as well as their pathologies, since power also is exercised beyond the state in an interconnected world. Part III examines empirical indicators of the decline of the rule of law at the national and international levels. It notes factors that could explain such decline, and why such factors appear to be transnationally linked. Part IV discusses what might be done given these shifts in rule-of-law protections. We then conclude, noting the implications of viewing the rule of law in transnational context for conceptual theory, empirical study, and policy response.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Shaffer, Gregory and Sandholtz, Wayne, "The Rule of Law under Challenge: The Enmeshment of National and International Trends" (2023). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2551.