Entangled Hopes: Towards Relational Coherence

One dynamic for the entanglement of law might be said to be the mobilisation of law from below. The myriad mobilisations of law by local social struggles around transnational relations, particularly over global value chains, resource rights and human rights violations, refer to presumed precedents from other situations and other jurisdictions, and claim the applicability of norms from other legal orders to their concerns. Rumours of rights entangle law. Such mobilisations of law from below rely on strategic comparisons, sometimes conjectural and tentative equations, and a belief in law’s coherence. From their position of relative weakness, they appeal to any norm that might provide them with legal arguments. They struggle to make these norms binding, and hence for their trans-systemic validity. I argue that these entanglements strive for relational coherence – a coherence that is transsystemic and unsystematic at the same time.