Inside or Out: Two Types of International Legal Pluralism
University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law
December 1, 2011
NORMATIVE PLURALISM AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: EXPLORING GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, Jan Klabbers, Touko Piiparinen, eds., Forthcoming
Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-48
Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2011-15
In this article I explore the distinction and relationship between two types of international legal pluralism. Internal pluralism construes a pluralism that is internal to the international legal order. External pluralism contests any hierarchical claim of international law and thus is external to the international order.
The central argument of the article is that the two types of pluralism, in a somewhat paradoxical way, depend on each other. While the international legal order needs its hierarchical claim to supremacy in order to provide the stability and legal certainty to serve the essential interests of states, communities, and individuals, the legitimacy of its claim to supremacy relies on the inspiration, diversity and politics that are articulated in the paradigm of external pluralism. In turn, the paradigm of external pluralism seems difficult to reconcile with the interests of stability of the international legal system, and yet it relies at least in part on that system since its primarily political project cannot provide stability at the international level.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 63
Keywords: international law, pluralism, supremacy, european union
JEL Classification: K33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 1, 2011 ; Last revised: January 30, 2012
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