Title: Conceptualising the complexity-reducing role of societal trust in transnational economic regulation - towards an interdisciplinary research methodology

Authors: Jens Hillebrand Pohl

Addresses: Maastricht University, Bouillonstraat 1-3, 6211 LH Maastricht, The Netherlands

Abstract: Trust in the international economic legal order has been associated with an historic global expansion of trade and investment. That trust is at constant, if not imminent, risk of erosion, and may even, in the perception of some, already be in the process of erosion. The interaction between trust and the notion of complexity may hold the key to understanding that process, whether actual or potential. On the premise of that interaction, an evolutionary interpretation of the transnational regulation of economic private-public relationships as a complex adaptive system may indicate whether and how trust in this context should be restored. The paper sketches the contours of an interdisciplinary research agenda aimed at exploring and investigating the proposition that an evolutionary interpretation of complexity in transnational economic relations may help to situate and explain that complexity and, thereby, to better understand the practical importance of trust in transnational economic regulation.

Keywords: socio-legal method; complexity; trust; evolutionary game theory; transnational economic regulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.10024462

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2019 Vol.6 No.3, pp.193 - 214

Received: 25 Oct 2018
Accepted: 15 Apr 2019

Published online: 07 Oct 2019 *

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