Dynamics of Plural Legal Orders
Franz von Benda-Beckmann und Keebet von Benda-Beckmann (eds.)
Year of publication
This volume examines dynamics of legal pluralism and explores the varied ways in which constellations of legal pluralism play out in social life. It aims to bridge the social and theoretical space between small-scale case studies and abstract generalisation. The introduction provides an overview of developments in the field of legal pluralism and offers an analytical perspective on the dynamics of the maintenance of and change in constellations of legal pluralism. Contributions examine situations in which the state is seen as remote from local settings and others in which local populations are actively engaged in widening the scope and validity of state law. By focusing on historical developments and the fault-lines of rapid political change in both post-socialist and post-authoritarian states, the volume shows that legal legacies of the past continue to have an impact. Authors look at the social significance of the various, and sometimes competing, types of law which religious and secular transnational actors introduce into local settings.The picture on the front cover shows the front page of a wooden document, luh, (plur. alwah), from the village of Tafegjunt in the High Atlas, Morocco. Alwah document the impact of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) in the sphere of customary law. They continue to have considerable symbolic and ritual value as affirmations of legal action, although their content is generally not understood by their owners. The pictured luh is a divorce contract together with a provision for the guardianship of an unborn child.