Just-in-Time Justice: Globalization and the Changing Character of Law, Order, and Power

Nancy A. Wonders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article examines how economic globalization has dialectically interacted with the nation-state and legal order to facilitate the production of “just-in-time justice”—the increasingly flexible character of law, order, and power. Utilizing Chambliss’s analytic strategy, particularly his dialectical approach to lawmaking, I first examine the relationship between the global social order, economic globalization, and the changing architecture of nation-states. I then explore ways that the legal order has been flexibilized, including the creation of “states of exception,” the privatization of social control functions of the state, the development of transnational spaces for governance, and the widespread use of surveillance. My analysis of these transformations suggests that the greatest danger in the contemporary moment may be what we do not know, what is hidden from public accountability, beyond the public gaze. Importantly, this analysis also highlights that law continues to matter—or else there would not be such a press to ensure its disappearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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