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Taking governance seriously in legal research

27 September 2011
Inaugural lecture: Ms. A.L.B. Colombi Ciacchi, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: Taking governance seriously in legal research

Faculty: Law

Several academic discourses on governance are going on since the 1970s and 1980s. They relate to different fields of law and regulation, including corporation law (corporate governance), administrative law (good governance of public administrations), international law and international relations (governance of nations and global governance), legal theory (governance as a legal style), EU law (governance of the EU), European private law and governance, Internet law and governance, law and governance of the health care system, contract law and governance, land law and governance, etc.

To a great extent, these discourses have been running separately from each other. An academic meta-discourse on law and governance that compares all these discourses and binds them together is still missing.

I believe that developing such a comparative meta-discourse would benefit both science and society. In particular, we would need a comparative analysis of the good governance aspects pertaining to the above-mentioned ten discourses. This would let us better reflect on good governance in each single field of law and regulation, and help societal actors better realise such good governance.

A first comparison of the said ten discourses enables us to single out some core features of good governance: legality, efficiency, transparency, accountability, best representation of interests, non-discrimination, and human rights protection. Arguably, these are universal parameters of good governance of every human institution, be it public, private or public-private. Therefore, public law scholars and private law scholars should work together much more intensively than they are actually doing now.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.40 p.m.

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