This collection of essays interrogates how human rights law and practice acquire meaning in relation to legal pluralism, ie, the co-existence of more than one regulatory order in a same social field. As a social phenomenon, legal pluralism exists in all societies. As a legal construction, it is characteristic of particular regions, such as post-colonial contexts. Drawing on experiences from Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, the contributions in this volume analyse how different configurations of legal pluralism interplay with the legal and the social life of human rights. At the same time, they enquire into how human rights law and practice influence interactions that are subject to regulation by more than one normative regime. Aware of numerous misunderstandings and of the mutual suspicion that tends to exist between human rights scholars and anthropologists, the volume includes contributions from experts in both disciplines and intends to build bridges between normative and empirical theory.
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“This richly detailed edited volume . . . contributes to a deep theoretical engagement with both the legal pluralism and human rights literatures. The papers collectively and individually push the theoretical envelope through which we conceptualize legal pluralism, and better understand its intersections with human rights.”Melanie G. Wiber, Journal of Legal Pluralism