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Global Legal Pluralism: A New Way of Legal Thinking

17 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2013  

Mikhail Antonov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: January 31, 2013


The subject matter of this article is the terminology which is used in contemporary law and sociological jurisprudence to denote changes in legal regulation. Among the most fashionable terms are those of globalization and pluralism. In the author’s opinion, these two terms indicate diverse phenomena and have different tasks. Pluralism is a concept allowing the description and explication of various legal facts, institutions, relations which are not generally recognized in state-centered theory of law. Globalization is a common name for the distinctive characteristics which distinguish the present-day Western civilization from other civilizations. The amalgamation of these two different aspects into one set of methods and ideas inspired by the need to explain modernity does not lead to the formation of a new methodology or of a scientific conception. Rather globalization talks about plurality in contemporary law having another function – to describe the changing mentality, new ways of legal thinking which are growing in the Western world. These changes have repercussions in many fields of science, i.e. in a new understanding of such traditional concepts as sovereignty.

Keywords: legal pluralism, globalization, legal orders, transnational law, civilization, sociological jurisprudence, sustainability

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Antonov, Mikhail, Global Legal Pluralism: A New Way of Legal Thinking (January 31, 2013). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BPR 10/LAW/2013. Available at SSRN: or

Mikhail Antonov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

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