Global Commons as an Emerging Arena of Contestation of Global Governance Structures and Norms

In: International Community Law Review
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  • 1 Senior Lecturer in Global Law, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  • | 2 Professor, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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The legal framework governing global commons still remains largely unexplored and consequently unregulated, opening the possibility of innovations to resolve transnational global problems. This results in building a dialogue between multiple stakeholders including international organisations, civil society, and emerging powers, resulting in shaping of the modern international law. With China’s growth in global commons domain, on account of reorientation in its foreign policy and increased engagement with international law, it is essential to understand in totality its contribution towards formulation and implementation of public policies at the national, international, and transnational levels. In this backdrop, the article attempts to understand how China influences development of regulatory frameworks governing the internet, space activities, and climate change. Focusing on China’s role as a ‘norm-taker’, ‘norm-maker’ or ‘norm-shaker’ of global governance, the article seeks to analyse its engagement in enhancing or impeding the preservation and fair allocation of resources.