Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Poonam Puri


The involvement of non-state entities in global public norm evolution has been the subject of many studies, especially in international human rights law and policy. This study explains the role of a non-state entity, INSOL International, in shaping the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997 using the life cycle approach developed in the human rights and policy context. The study utilized a triangulation of doctrinal, empirical and legal history data to determine whether the norm life cycle theory could explain the role of INSOL in shaping the Model Law. The study found that non-state entities have influenced bankruptcy norms even before Roman Times. State involvement in setting bankruptcy norms is a reasonably recent phenomenon. The Model Law results from a complex and complicated private-public legal ordering in which non-state entities' interests intermingle with state sovereigns, providing legitimacy and accountability to multilateral normative sites. The life cycle approach enabled a look back on how INSOL manoeuvred the policy terrain to generate, cascade and ensure internalization of cooperation and coordination norms among state courts. These norms underpin the Model Law. The study found that a gap exists between the interests of non-state entities and low GDP states excluded from participation at the two earlier stages of emergence and cascade but required to diffuse the norm at the last stage of internalization. The study indicates that while the life cycle theory is helpful in our understanding of the role of INSOL in shaping the Model Law provides no solution for dealing with the gaps in normative weight of states in global lawmaking. Given the impact of non-state entities on global lawmaking, the study suggests balancing the gaps through the early involvement of members from low GDP states in the activities of non-state entities and at the early stages of the life cycle of a norm. This approach would render internalization and diffusion of such norms easier in those states later.


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