Concepts for International Law
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Concepts for International Law

Contributions to Disciplinary Thought

Edited by Jean d’Aspremont and Sahib Singh

Concepts shape how we understand and participate in international legal affairs. They are an important site for order, struggle and change. This comprehensive and authoritative volume introduces a large number of concepts that have shaped, at various points in history, international legal practice and thought; intimates at how the many projects of international law have grappled with, and influenced, the world through certain concepts; and introduces new concepts into the discipline.
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Chapter 45: Pluralism

Nico Krisch

Abstract

Pluralist approaches understand global law as consisting of a variety of legal orders that are not integrated by a common, overarching frame. This chapter explores the rise of pluralism as a frame for law in the European and, later, global contexts, and analyses different forms of pluralism for the ways in which they represent relations between the different parts of the overall order. It shows how pluralist approaches have increasingly expanded their concept of law, resulting in the inclusion of normativities of informal and private origins into their domain. It also discusses common fears associated with pluralist visions of legal order, primarily those related to coherence and stability, and suggests that in contexts of strong diversity and contestation, a pluralist legal order may hold advantages over more unitary structures. It finally explores potential legacies of pluralist approaches for rethinking the ways in which we identify and construe law beyond formal international law.

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