Laws and Societies in Global Contexts: Contemporary Approaches
This text seeks to situate sociolegal studies in a global context. Law and society scholarship in the United States and elsewhere typically assumes one legal system and one society and explores the relationship between them. Such a narrow endeavor perpetuates a Western international relations model that too often conflates law, culture, and the nation-state. A more global sociolegal perspective engages with multiple laws and societies within and across national borders and recognizes diverse sociolegal systems based on very different historical and cultural traditions, interacting on multiple local, national, and global levels. This more global perspective also reveals an array of transnational issues including regional conflicts, genocide, mass immigration, environmental degradation, and climate change that have consistently defied resolution via conventional international system of governance. The approach to global legal pluralism outlined here seeks to provide a framework for envisioning new global governance regimes that move beyond state-based solutions to deal with trenchant transnational challenges.
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