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Nicole Roughan

This chapter takes up the methodological challenge of theorizing about authority in circumstances of plurality, and in particular, the relationship between normative and sociological accounts of authority. The chapter makes two core claims. First, that the normative and sociological accounts of authority are both integrated and mutually dependent; and second, that there remains value in a strictly normative conception of legal authority, despite the challenge from many theorists of transnational law who argue for the loosening or relaxation of conceptions of authority to accommodate phenomena such as ‘soft law’, ‘liquid authority,’ or ‘governance’.