Global governance seems to be moving away (both horizontally and vertically) from the established institutions (patterns. principles and practices) that used to dominate it. Many questions arise. (How) do new transnational actors (e.g. INGO�s, SMO�s) enter successfully the transnational policy-networks, hitherto dominated by nation states? Can the evolving patterns and practices in which these nation states are dealing with multinationals, non-governmental organizations and social movements be seen as new forms of governance and the development of law? Do they adequately articulate and deal with the social and economic problems that arise in the global arena? Many questions and speculations with regard to this new practices of transnational governance dominate the literature in international law and policymaking. This research starts from the conjecture that we urgently need some systematic and empirical evidence for the widely stated claim that there is a growing disjunction between the existing international arrangements envisaging binding decisions and international law and all kinds of multilateral practices? Many authors in the rapidly developing field of transnational governance indeed rightfully claim that there is a growing need for such an empirical research into the developments in global governance and their impact on (the legitimacy and efficacy of) existing practices and principles of �inter alia- international policy-making, development of law and (democratic) accountability) (e.g. Van Kersbergen and Van Waarden 2001: p. 49). This project envisages exactly such an empirical exploration and theoretical evaluation of emergent patterns in inter- and transnational relations and policymaking, It seeks to develop, on the basis of empirical case-study research, a first typology of these new patterns. Besides that, it is also aiming at an evaluation of the meaning of these new patterns for existing principles in the field of international law and �policymaking. In short, the question that guides this project is the following: can we discern new patterns in international relations (those focussed on international law and policies), in what aspects are these patterns significantly different from existing patterns and practices of international law and policymaking and how can they be evaluated in terms of both efficacy and legitimacy of the processes and outcomes they engender.
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