Imposed Obedience versus Expressed Obedience: Rethinking on Transnational Legal Process

Author: Kulani Wijayabahu, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Published: December 2016

Citation: Wijayabahu, K. (2016). Imposed Obedience versus Expressed Obedience: Rethinking on Transnational Legal Process. IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(2).


“Why do nations obey international law?” is one of the prominent questions that has arisen among scholars of international law. Therefore, this article anticipates to rethink the reason for obeying that was presented by Transnationalists through the Transnational Legal Process (TLP). TLP provides an opportunity for transnational actors to gather, interact, and interpret legal norms. Conversely, nationalists and Standard Point viewers criticize TLP. This was investigated through archival literature on these two schools from the perspective of International Relations. However, it is impossible to appraise either school as boon and bane can be identified. Hence, this article hypothesizes that transnational actors gather at international fora to reconstruct interest and identity of states to accumulate them to achieve a common goal despite ideational differences. As a result of that, rather ensuring human betterment, state excellence has overtaken human betterment since sovereignty and nationalism are still major concerns of states. But as TLP suggests selfish national interests of states can be altered and reconstructed via continuous participation in TLP. Therefore, this article signifies the process of TLP in the law formulating process even if internalization is the challenge.


Transnational Legal Process, statehood, international law