Collaborative Research Networks

CRN48  Legal Pluralism and Non-State Law


Yuksel Sezgin, Janine Ubink

This CRN serves as a site for networking and collaborative research for scholars working on legal pluralism and non-state normative orderings from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, political science, comparative law and legal history, sociology and other fields related to law and society. The CRN furthers knowledge and understanding of legal pluralism, with a focus upon theoretical and practical problems resulting from the interaction of different types of law, such as religious law, customary law, state law, international and transnational law. And it provides an intellectual meeting ground for the concerns of social and legal sciences in the study of law in society and the resulting power relations, and in the resolution of social problems.

Areas of collaborative research may include: Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of legal pluralism from past to present; studies of the comprehensive regulatory activities undertaken by government, civil society, and market parties in various fields and at different scale levels, and how these are affected by legal pluralism; the pluralist discourses of rights over land and natural resources, which remain both socially and politically contested; the effects of the increasing intertwining of human rights and development discourses on issues in legal pluralism; and the perplexing relationship between law, custom and religion as competing sources of normative reasoning and social ordering. In these and other substantive areas, a key goal of the CRN is to facilitate conversations between social scientists, lawyers, legal scholars, activists, and policy makers who engage in study of legal pluralism from different theoretical, methodological and practical angles. A second goal of the CRN is to share best practices for research methodology in this new and growing field of inquiry. Finally, the proposed CRN provides an important vehicle for bringing scholars who work in the field of legal pluralism into the fold of the Law and Society Association.


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