Joshua Karton, ‘Sectoral Fragmentation in Transnational Contract Law’

The transnational commercial law literature has long told a story in which globalization yields ever-increasing legal harmonization. This Article argues that it is a mistake to equate globalization with harmonization. Even as the law of commercial relationships continues to globalize, it will split along industry sector lines. National boundaries will matter less and boundaries between industries will matter more, with one law for financial services, another for oil and gas, another for software, and so on. Borrowing a term and a conceptual framework from the public international law literature, the Article calls this phenomenon ‘sectoral fragmentation’.

State governance declines in importance compared with private governance, the borderless and sector-specific structure of commercial communities is being recapitulated in formal contract law. This Article describes the forces driving sectoral fragmentation and the specific legal mechanisms through which it occurs. It concludes by exploring the consequences of sectoral fragmentation for contract law and for the regulation of cross-border commercial activity more generally.

Karton, Joshua, Sectoral Fragmentation in Transnational Contract Law (March 2019). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, volume 21, no 1, 2019.

First posted 2019-04-06 07:13:17

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