Why Authority? A Jurisprudence Between Plurality and Pluralism
Paul Schiff Berman (Ed.) Oxford Handbook on Global Legal Pluralism (OUP, 2019, Forthcoming)
32 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2019
Date Written: May 2, 2018
This chapter argues that the key to understanding both plurality and pluralism is to account for their entanglement without assuming that the former entails the latter, or that the latter is always justified when the former exists. I argue here that a complex notion of authority, in which both reasons and relationships determine the existence and justification of authority, can clarify the relations between plurality and pluralism by pointing to a mode of subject-centred analysis and evaluation that does not presume either plurality’s justification nor pluralism’s analytical purchase. When both authority’s reasons and relationships are pluralised vis-à-vis the subjects of those reasons and relations, the very existence and justification of authority depends on the ways in which plural claims and receptions of authority interact, as well as on the impact of such interaction on the values that pluralism might carry. Such a view of authority should sound a note of caution for those who explore, evaluate or endorse the claims to authority made by various phenomena of legal plurality that are the objects of the present collection on global legal pluralism; for it raises a set of concerns about both the plausibility of such claims, their evaluation in relation to each other, and the potential for plurality of claims and invocations of authority to exist without pluralism itself being justified – for there to be space between plurality and pluralism.
Keywords: legal pluralism, jurisprudence, authority, plurality
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation