This chapter evaluates the theory of spontaneous legal standardization proposed in Chapter 4, which tries to answer the following question: Without a central legislative authority, how will international commercial law, for example shipping law, be standardized? The two key merits of Chapter 4’s thesis are, on the one hand, it is inter-disciplinary in nature and, on the other hand, the fact that the implications of the thesis go beyond commercial law and shipping law. However, this theoretical framework also suffers from three major flaws. The first one concerns the nature of the question that it tries to answer; the second concerns the nature of the theory of spontaneous legal standardization that Chapter 4 puts forward; the third concerns several assumptions that seem to be embedded into the network externalities theory as an explanandum of the phenomenon of spontaneous legal standardization (rather than as a normative theory).
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