From Living Law to Global Legal Pluralism: Rethinking Traditions from a Century of Western Socio-Legal Studies
Kobe University Law Review
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This paper notes certain key landmarks in the modern history of Western sociology of law. Taken together, these map developments that have given socio-legal studies some of its most influential and powerful theoretical ideas. But the paper asks how far such inherited ideas – and the research traditions they represent – are still useful in confronting the pluralistic, globalised and fragmented regulatory systems that proliferate today. How far can sociology of law maintain continuity with its past? This paper argues that it can maintain a strong continuity, but also that it must discard (or radically rework) some of its central inherited ideas that are coming to seem anachronistic in the face of contemporary socio-legal developments: especially developments relating to cultural pluralism, legal pluralism and transnational law.
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