Document Type


Publication Title

Annual Review on Law & Social Science



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global scripts, governance, polity, transnational legal order, TLO theory, recursivity


Global scripts—the rules, norms, and standards in international texts, and the tacit assumptions that surround and give meaning to them—exist on numerous issues (finance, trade, economic development, climate change, education, human rights, and gender equality), at every level of engagement (international, national, local), and at every phase of recursive norm construction and contestation. Case studies involving global scripts appear across a wide range of scholarship—considering sociological, anthropological, or sociolegal perspectives, or on international political economy, international organizations, international relations, or law and development—but because they are focused on one piece of the puzzle at a time, variation exists regarding the definition of global scripts, the distinction between legal and policy scripts, and how explicitly scripts get articulated through and with reference to law. Enhanced theorization of global scripts holds promise for connecting legal to sociolegal scholarship precisely because global scripts and scriptwriting extend beyond the realm of law and lawmaking; it would enable deeper exploration of whether, how, and why a broad range of texts and practices influence behaviors.

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