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Abstract

This lecture sets out to demystify the topic of legal pluralism by examining the relationship between legal pluralism, normative pluralism, and general normative theory from a global perspective. The central theme is that treating legal pluralism as a species of normative pluralism decenters the state, links legal pluralism to a rich body of literature, and helps to show that some of the central puzzlements surrounding the topic can usefully be viewed as much broader issues in the general theory of norms and legal theory. A second theme is that so-called “global legal pluralism” is in several respects qualitatively different from the older anthropological and socio-legal accounts of legal pluralism and is largely based on a different set of concerns.

Related Conference

Presented as the Herbert L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture in International and Comparative Law on April 7, 2009.

Lecture information available at http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/bernstein/4/

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