Regime-Collisions: The Vain Search for Legal Unity in the Fragmentation of Global Law

Predictions of future events tend to be a rarity within the social sciences. It is an even more rare occurrence when predicted events come to pass. Niklas Luhmann’s prediction on the future of global law is a memorable exception. In 1971, while theorizing on the concept of world society, Luhmann allowed himself the “speculative hypothesis” that global law would experience a radical fragmentation, not along territorial, but along social sectoral lines. The reason for this would be a transformation from normative (politics, morality, law) to cognitive expectations (economy, science, technology); a transformation that would be effected during the transition from nationally organized societies to a global society.