Document Type

Chapter of Book

Publication Date



Savigny, private international law, globalization, sovereignty


How can conflict of laws respond to the challenges from globalization? Some argue that state-based approaches like governmental interest analysis are inadequate, and advocate a return to the approach taken by the German scholar Savigny in the 19th century. The article shows that the assumption is correct: state-based approaches have indeed become problematic. However, a return to Savigny's approach will not help: While Savigny's approach is multilateral and pays little regard to governmental interest, closer analysis reveals how central the state is to his theory. The consequences are shown in an analysis of a recent European case. It follows that we will have to think more radically about proper conflict of laws responses to globalization if we want to overcome the centrality of the state.


This is a pre-print version of the chapter that appears in Aktuelle Fragen zu politischer und rechtlicher Steuerung im Kontext der Globalisierung.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Globalization, Confict of laws, Friedrich Carl von Savigny, Sovereignty