Skip to main content

Fragmentation

  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online:
Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
  • 28 Accesses

Introduction

Present-day scholars in international law and related fields generally agree that international law is characterized by “fragmentation.” Certainly, the diagnosis is apt, given the proliferation of specialized fields of law, normative sources, and corresponding institutions: for instance, matters of international trade, immigration, property, and seafaring as well as environmental issues and human rights are nowadays discussed with respect to distinct fields of law. A plethora of internationally active (quasi-)legal forums and organizations have emerged particularly after 1989, including the World Trade Organization and the International Criminal Court, alongside older organizations, such as the European Court of Human Rights and various United Nations institutions.

What, exactly, the fragmentation diagnosis means and entails, however, is a more complex issue – and one that raises fundamental conceptual and philosophical questions. These questions relate to the nature of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Agon SS (2022) Farewell to the f-word? Fragmentation of international law in times of the covid-19 pandemic. Univ Tor Law J 72(1):1–49. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3932220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ambrus M (2016) Constitutionalisation through fragmented adjudication? In: Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (eds) Fragmentation vs the constitutionalisation of international law. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 203–221

    Google Scholar 

  • Andenas M, Bjorge E (2015) Introduction: from fragmentation to convergence in international law. In: Andenas M, Bjorge E (eds) A farewell to fragmentation: reassertion and convergence in international law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–33

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Arcari M (2016) The creeping constitutionalisation and fragmentation of international law: from ‘constitutional’ to ‘consistent’ interpretation. In: Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (eds) Fragmentation vs the constitutionalisation of international law. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 69–86

    Google Scholar 

  • Besson S (2010) Theorizing the sources of international law. In: Besson S, Tasioulas J (eds) The philosophy of international law. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 163–185

    Google Scholar 

  • Besson S, Tasioulas J (2010) Introduction. In: Besson S, Tasioulas J (eds) The philosophy of international law. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 1–27

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen HG (2019) Fragmentation. In: D’Aspremont J, Singh S (eds) Concepts for international law: contributions to disciplinary thought. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp 315–327

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Finck F (2016) The paradoxes of fragmentation: does regional constitutionalisation constitute a fragmentation threat to the international legal order? In: Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (eds) Fragmentation vs the constitutionalisation of international law. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 89–105

    Google Scholar 

  • Fischer-Lescano A, Teubner G (2007) Fragmentierung des Weltrechts: Vernetzung globalen Regimes statt etatischer Rechtseinheit. In: Albert M, Stichweh R (eds) Weltstaat und Weltstaatlichkeit: Beobachtungen globaler politischer Strukturbildung. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaft, Wiesbaden, pp 37–61

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenwood C (2015) Unity and diversity in international law. In: Andenas M, Bjorge E (eds) A farewell to fragmentation: reassertion and convergence in international law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 37–55

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • International Law Commission (2006) Fragmentation of international law: difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of international law, UN Doc. A/CN.4/ L.682. https://legal.un.org/ilc/documentation/english/a_cn4_l682.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2022

  • Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (2016) Introduction. In: Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (eds) Fragmentation vs the constitutionalisation of international law. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 1–12

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Jovanović MA (2019) The nature of international law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Koskenniemi M (2013) Carl Schmitt and international law. In: Meierhenrich J, Simons O (eds) The Oxford handbook of Carl Schmitt. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 592–611

    Google Scholar 

  • Mouffe C (2005) Cosmopolitics or multipolarity? Redescriptions 9(1):15–26. https://doi.org/10.7227/R.9.1.3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pankakoski T, Vihma A (2017) Fragmentation in international law and global governance: a conceptual inquiry. Contribut History Concepts 12(1):22–48. https://doi.org/10.3167/choc.2017.120103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peters A (2015) Constitutional fragments: on the interaction of constitutionalization and fragmentation in international law. Center for global constitutionalism, University of St Andrews, working paper No. 2/2015. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591370. Accessed 5 Aug 2022

  • Peters A (2017) The refinement of international law: from fragmentation to regime interaction and politicization. Int J Const Law 15(3):671–704. https://doi.org/10.1093/icon/mox056

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peters A (2022) COVID-19 as a catalyst for the (re-)constitutionalisation of international law: one health – one welfare. In: Mbengue MM, D’Aspremont J (eds) Crisis narratives in international law. Brill, Leiden, pp 85–99

    Google Scholar 

  • Stahn C, van den Herik L (2012) ‘Fragmentation,’ diversification and ‘3D’ legal pluralism: international criminal law as the jack-in-the-box? In: van den Herik L, Stahn C (eds) The diversification and fragmentation of international criminal law. Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden, pp 21–89

    Google Scholar 

  • Zajadło J, Widłak T (2016) Constitutionalisation: a new philosophy of international law? In: Jakubowski A, Wierczyńska K (eds) Fragmentation vs the constitutionalisation of international law. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 15–31

    Google Scholar 

  • Zürn M, Faude B (2013) On fragmentation, differentiation, and coordination. Glob Environ Politics 13(3):119–130. https://doi.org/10.1162/GLEP_a_00186

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This article is supported by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (grant number 345950).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Timo Pankakoski .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 Springer Nature B.V.

About this entry

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Pankakoski, T. (2023). Fragmentation. In: Sellers, M., Kirste, S. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_1115-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_1115-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-007-6730-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-6730-0

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Law and CriminologyReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics