Rethinking the Rethinking of Legal Pluralism: Toward a Manifesto for a Pluri-Legal Perspective

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The paper addresses the perpetual discontent evoked by the concept of legal pluralism, one which, in turn, brings about incessant efforts to “rethink” it. We suggest that one of the sources of this discontent is the erroneous view that legal pluralism is a theory, and the consequent misguided expectations that it should provide scholars of law and society with causal hypotheses and explanations. We argue that legal pluralism is not a theory but a research perspective, and, as such, is not meant to provide us with explanatory propositions, but rather to increase our awareness of the plurality and inter-relationality of socio-legal spheres and of the implications thereof. We further identify—and briefly discuss—the four core principles of a pluri-legal perspective: plurality, relationality, power, and agency. Taken together, these four premises constitute a manifesto of sorts for a pluri-legal perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
JournalLaw and History Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of American Society for Legal History.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Law


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