Globalization-Non-governmental Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives
Processes of economic globalization underway since the early 1970s pose new regulatory dilemmas. The mismatch between global economic processes, on the one hand, and national regulations, on the other, creates what Sassen has aptly called a “regulatory fracture”, stemming from the fact that “economic processes diverge from the model for which extant regulations were designed” (Sassen 1998: 155). Debates about how to deal with such a regulatory fracture are today at the forefront of law and society research on globalization and have given rise to a host of regulatory experiments around the world. A growing number of sociolegal analyses and institutional experiments emphasize non-governmental approaches to regulation, that is, forms of economic and political coordination in which private organizations ?from corporations to civic associations? take on regulatory tasks that were hitherto reserved to the state. From this perspective, forms of global governance have the potential to solve some of the problems faced by national governments in the global economy.