Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Post-modern Challenges of Transnational Law for the European Union

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.05.00  Social sciences  Law   

Code Science Field
S155  Social sciences  European law 

Code Science Field
5.05  Social Sciences  Law 
EU law, transnational law, modernity/post-modernity, state, sovereignty
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31643  PhD Matej Avbelj  Law  Head  2013 - 2015 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  8554  New University, Faculty of Government and European Studies  Kranj  1555057  24 
The European Union has grown into a very popular object of scientific research, including in its legal dimension. However, the bulk of scientific research has been concentrated on what could be most suitably called the EU internal affairs. This scientific focus is no longer justified, for the reality has overgrown its present too narrow theoretical confines. European Union has found itself in a newly developed external environment that affects its internal configuration and functioning much more than it used to be the case under the traditional international law. This project therefore splits with the established course and puts much more emphasis on the EU’s external legal environment, which has increasingly been reigned by the so-called transnational law. Not only has the latter been posing significant practical challenges to the functioning of the European Union, it has in conceptual terms triggered the process of transformation which might be bringing the modern legal-political era to an end; announcing the emergence of post-modern times and with them a new paradigm of law: the legal pluralism. Against this background, the project asks the following main research question: “In the context of a new paradigm of law, the legal pluralism, how should the European Union cope with the emergence of transnational law?” This question is broken down further into a number of sub-questions. Proceeding from the more abstract end, the first question will query about the very adequacy of the modern paradigm of law. If the present paradigm is inadequate and if it should be replaced by legal pluralism, what new perspective do we gain of the European Union? How should the latter be best conceptualized and, similarly, what ought to be conceptually made of transnational law? Having defined the central research objects, it shall be inquired next into the most acute practical challenges that currently stem from their interaction. As these affect the central building blocks of a modern polity (and law): sovereignty, democracy and fundamental rights; the precise nature of the challenges will be studied and their consequences examined. On the basis of the hence posed questions and practical challenges studied, the project, grounded into the paradigm of legal pluralism, should ultimately result in the development of a normative model of the best relationship between the EU and transnational law. This model will be, finally, used to envisage possible legal and political scenarios for the European Union in the times of globalization and post-modernity. The main goal of this project is to present its findings in a book, published by one of the leading European publishing houses with which we have published before.
Significance for science
The concept of transnational law in Slovenia has been underdeveloped and mostly unknown. The Slovenian legal scholarship is still a captive of the statist legal mindset, pursuant to which all legal regulation derives from the state, which hence remains the most important legal actor. This legal mindset no longer corresponds to the reality and needs to be adapated. The concept and theories of legal pluralism are similarly mostly unkown in Slovenia. This importance of this research project derives from the fact that is has supplemented the legal research in Slovenia in two important segments and hence brought it in touch with the contemporary trends in the European and global legal research. The research project has also contributed to the deepening of the legal research in Slovenia in the field of EU law. Here too the Slovenian legal scholarship has been lagging behind, as most of the treatises have remained on a highly descriptive and analytical level. In general there are very few normative works, which would be concerned with the prospect evolution of the European integration, so effectively address the internal and external challenges posted to and by EU law. From the perspective of the Slovenian legal research this project has contributed a robust definition of the nature of the EU legal order as well as to theorizing of its relationship with the many forms of transnational law. As this research project has been multi-dimensional, such is also its contribution to the Slovenian legal science. In the part, in which the project has focused on the questions of the shift from legal modernity to post-modernity, it has contributed to the growth of Slovenian legal philosophy. The same applies to the research findings relating to the adjusted concept of law and the role of justice. The project’s entrenchment of the idea of union, as a revived form of a federal ordering between the federal state and a confederation, has added to the Slovenian constitutional and EU scholarship. The case-studies of rule law of law and democracy pertain to the constitutional expertise to, whereas the role of private and hybrid actors in transnational law has enhanced our knowledge of the specific legal fields of lex sportiva and lex informatica. The central argument of the project is that it is the theory of principled legal pluralism (TPLP), which provides for the best descriptive, explanatory and normative account of the relationship between EU law and transnational law. The novelty or originality of the findings stemming from this research project can be identified on three levels: general, theoretical and practical (as applied) level. On the most general level this project has posed a new research question concerning the relationship between EU law and transnational law. This question has not been asked before, which is a prerequisite and a guarantee for an original contribution to the field. On a theoretical level, the project makes three original conceptual contributions. It develops a new account of legal pluralism, which also advances a revised concept of law. On this basis, the project puts forward an improved, rigorous conception as well as a new classification of transnational law. Finally, the project advances a unique pluralist conception of the European Union as a union. On a practical level, the project conducts highly topical case studies of the influence of different bodies of transnational law on the rule of law, democracy, human rights protection and justice in the European Union. Most importantly, the project also develops original normative guidelines for improving the relationship between EU law and transnational law and, in particular, to strengthen the conditions of rule of law, democracy, human rights protection and justice inside the Union, while simultaneously preserving the functional autonomy of transnational law.
Significance for the country
This research project was hence conceived and conducted primarily as a scientific-theoretical endeavour, whose direct impact ought to be identified in the scientific field. The project has not been intended to directly contribute to the development of Slovenia and thus no such direct contribution can be identified. Nevertheless, within the framework of the project several positive indirect effects for the development of Slovenia have emerged. These, inter alia, encompass: 1. Increasing the visibility and presence of the Slovenian legal science abroad, mainly by publishing papers in the leading international publications and by presenting the work in progress at several scientific events in Europe, the USA and Asia. 2. Strengthening the institutional and individual ties with international research institutions and individuals, in particular by organizing three scientific conferences at the Graduate School of Government and European Studies. 3. Enriching the existing curriculum at the School, by integrating new scientific findings into the courses, such as as: Rule of law and democracy, EU Law nad European administrative law. 4. Stimulating the students’ independent research work in this research field and hence passing the knowledge on the future generations, in particular by supervising final papers in the relevant research field.
Audiovisual sources (1)
no. Title (with video link) Event Source
1.     Research project video clip 
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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