13 Colum. J. Eur. L. 519 (2007)

Neil Walker. Professor of Law, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Gráinne de Búrca. Professor of Law, Fordham Law School.

This Article re-examines the concepts of Law and New Governance with a view to pursuing three cumulative objectives. First, it emphasizes that both law and new governance are deeply contested concepts whose meaning and inter-relationship cannot just be assumed or taken for granted, as is the tendency in some empirical studies of their interconnection. Second, it suggests that both concepts be situated and understood within an explicitly normative framework, one that takes account of the different implicit value assumptions underpinning many existing definitions. Thirdly, from this starting point it seeks to sketch a new framework of the relationship between Law and New Governance. This framework notes first, the tendency of Law to give priority to the meta-value of “social regularity” and of New Governance to give priority to the meta-value of “social responsiveness”; but it notes also the inevitability of some balanced recognition of each of these overarching values within all species of normative order, including both Law and New Governance.