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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Constitutional Advice and Transnational Legal Order


This article surveys the history and practice of providing constitutional advice. It first examines antecedents, then looks at the contemporary political economy of the process, drawing on the transnational legal order (TLO) framework to evaluate whether or not it can be characterized as a TLO. The answer is a partial yes. We focus on one feature of the modern situation, the presence of corporate actors—including the United Nations, NGOs, and international organizations—in an increasingly dense social field. This development has laid bare tensions and competition among actors, moving the field toward a nascent TLO that is nevertheless unlikely to fully consolidate or institutionalize. We conclude that the field evidences aspects of a transnational legal order but also serves as an arena in which other TLOs contest over outcomes.

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