GLOBAL LAW IN PIECES
The idea that life undergoes a process of functional differentiation, and that, as a consequence, law becomes increasingly specialized – and maybe even transforms in its very nature – is now widespread. The specialized clusters of law or regulation are very often called regimes, in the international arena, international or transnational regimes. This paper deals, first, with three strong representations of international regimes and discusses some of their problems. It argues that, in order to make a good use of the category, it is necessary to keep in mind the differentiation between law and non-law in the wider context of governance. It then turns, firstly, to the notion of regimes as fragments of a unified and coherent public international law order and, secondly, as meeting points of regulations emerging from different legal orders as well as from other non-legal sources. Within public international law, regimes are seen as related to what is called the double fragmentation of that legal order. As clusters of regulation within a wider global regulatory order, regimes are put in relation to two types of legal or regulatory pluralism.