Edited by Jorge L. Fabra-Zamora
Chapter 3: Legal encounters with alterity in post-monist mode
This chapter sees as a core question for global ‘post-monist jurisprudence’ law’s modes of encounters with alterity and attempts to probe the aesthetic, ethical or political underpinnings of the various modes of reasoning through which, in the Western world, law understands, and reacts to, extraneous norms and values. Indeed, the ‘global turn’ in law is not limited, as it would sometimes seem, to a tightening of its own structural linkages with the economy, but involves constant exposure or interactions with foreign societies, cultures and ideologies. In search of a response in legal form to ubiquitous otherness, including cultural difference, this chapter joins various strands of contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship in exploring the insights to be found in the specific methodologies of private international law. In other words, it focuses on the interdisciplinary ecology of those legal forms that embody a certain relationship to foreign laws and other forms of normativity. Post-monist legal approaches to otherness appear here as a ‘dangerous method’ that leads to a decentring of the self, a moment of void at the point of encounter of difference, a suspension of judgement. While such a method leaves behind the comfortable linearity of legal monism, a look towards private international law’s specific intellectual schemes shows that the ensuing vertigo is to be embraced as a form of enrichment of law’s horizons and modes of reasoning.
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