Global legal institutions such as UN agencies, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization have become sites of some of the most innovative research in the social sciences, with implications that carry over into the methods and perspectives of legal scholarship. This chapter presents an outline of the history and methods of ethnography in global legal institutions as well as an account of the main findings of ethnographic work in this context. One of the key findings of ethnographic inquiry is that the structural failings and disenchantment of these institutions are at variance with persistent expressions of hope that are at the foundation of institutional ethics and self-representation. This hope is now being channelled into possibilities opened up by new information and communication technologies. These institutions are capitalizing on digitalization and innovations in technology as sources of decision-making. At the same time, new spaces have been created for private sector involvement in global governance initiatives, most prominently the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. The UN, together with its corporate partners, is developing powerful information and communications technologies that present both important opportunities and risks in the administration of programmes in which artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are essential tools. These initiatives also present an important place for ethnographic research in presenting a clearer picture of the new geography of global governance and its legal frameworks.

Global Legal Institutions / M. Sapignoli, R. Niezen - In: Oxford Handbook of Law and Anthropology / [a cura di] M. Foblets, M. Goodale, M. Sapignoli, O. Zenker. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Oxford University Press, 2020. - ISBN 9780198840534. - pp. 1-20 [10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198840534.013.49]

Global Legal Institutions

M. Sapignoli
;
2020

Abstract

Global legal institutions such as UN agencies, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization have become sites of some of the most innovative research in the social sciences, with implications that carry over into the methods and perspectives of legal scholarship. This chapter presents an outline of the history and methods of ethnography in global legal institutions as well as an account of the main findings of ethnographic work in this context. One of the key findings of ethnographic inquiry is that the structural failings and disenchantment of these institutions are at variance with persistent expressions of hope that are at the foundation of institutional ethics and self-representation. This hope is now being channelled into possibilities opened up by new information and communication technologies. These institutions are capitalizing on digitalization and innovations in technology as sources of decision-making. At the same time, new spaces have been created for private sector involvement in global governance initiatives, most prominently the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. The UN, together with its corporate partners, is developing powerful information and communications technologies that present both important opportunities and risks in the administration of programmes in which artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are essential tools. These initiatives also present an important place for ethnographic research in presenting a clearer picture of the new geography of global governance and its legal frameworks.
Global Institutions; Anthropology; Law; New technologies
Settore M-DEA/01 - Discipline Demoetnoantropologiche
Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/839185
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