Abstract and Keywords
The concept of legal pluralism has proved enormously fruitful in challenging ideas about the centrality of state law and increasing awareness of the diversity of ways that individuals interact with the law. As scholars seek to understand international law as a sociocultural as well as a legal field, the concept of global legal pluralism offers a useful framework. It provides a way to theorize the fluidity and fragmentation of international law as well as its spaces of openness and opportunity. It is a way to understand its regulatory role in conjunction with regional, national, and local systems and the structures of local, national, and global power which shape its practices. The concept of global legal pluralism highlights both the global nature of the new legal terrain as well as the relative normativities of various orders, from the strictly “legal” to those based on cultural practices rather than state law. The anthropological concept of legal pluralism helps to understand the complexity of the global legal order, with a focus on the way its fragmentation and incommensurability operates in practice in the highly complex sociocultural global situation.
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