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Law and Contemporary Problems. Volume 71, Number 3 (2008), p. 107-127.


This article describes transnational private law as a decentralized and intermediate form of transnational governance that recognizes and manages the multiplicity of norms generated by plural normative systems in our contemporary world society. These include international and municipal state systems, nonstate social systems, and private ordering by parties. Consistent with an approach that views globalization as changing the nature of the sovereignty of states, the article draws on the rich tradition of private law, considered with its international dimensions, to find both a concrete example of and a model for understanding the complex role of the state in the plural normative orders of the “postnational constellation.” In this task, this article views private law understood in its international context as exemplary of an intermediate level of transnational governance.