A Critical Appraisal of Legal Pluralism

Document Type : Original Article


1 Public Law Department, Law Faculty, Sh. Beheshti University.

2 Goethe University Frankfurt



Legal pluralism, in broad terms, refers to the coexistence of two or more legal systems under the one and same state. In narrower terms, legal pluralism implies plural state-made laws and the reflection of social and cultural plurality in a legal system of a state. The concept, in its broad sense, embodies this outlook that law is not limited to the institution of the state, and that the state is only one of the authorities that make legal rules in the society. Accordingly, the concept of legal pluralism gives rise to diverse and important discussions on the scope and meaning of the concept of law. In addition to the conceptual controversies with which legal pluralism is encountered, the significant methodological criticism is that legal pluralist theories lack a clear and precise criterion for distinguishing law from other social phenomena. Considering all normative orders as legal will lead to certain conceptual confusions, which undermines main claims of legal pluralism and make them unjustified.


Main Subjects

7-1- فارسی:
سن، آمارتیا (1395)، لیبرالیسم و مسئله عدالت: مجموعه مقالات، ویرایش محمد ملا عباسی، تهران: انتشارات ترجمان.
راسخ، محمد (1392)، «ویژگی­های ذاتی و عرضی قانون»، در حق و مصلحت، مقالاتی در فلسفة حقوق، فلسفة حق و فلسفة ارزش، جلد دوم، تهران: نشر نی، صص 104-75.
راسخ، محمد (1392)، «مدرنیته و حقوق دینی »، حق و مصلحت، مقالاتی در فلسفة حقوق، فلسفة حق و فلسفة ارزش، جلد دوم، تهران: نشر نی، صص 74-41.
راسخ، محمد و پورسیدآقایی، سیدحمید (1395)، «نگاهی انتقادی به شکل­گرایی در حقوق»، فصلنامه تحقیقات حقوقی، شماره 74، صص 84-69.
شهابی، مهدی (1395)، «کثرت­گرایی حقوقی: تأملی در چیستی مبنای التزام­آوری قاعدة حقوقی و متغیزهای تحول نظام حقوقی»، فصلنامه پژوهش حقوق عمومی، سال هفدهم، شماره 48، صص 163-135.
مک­لنان، گرگور (1384)، پلورالیسم، ترجمة جهانگیر معینی، تهران: آشیان.
هارت، هربرت (1390)، مفهوم قانون، ترجمة محمد راسخ، تهران: نشر نی.
7-2- لاتین:
Abel, R.L. (1973-74), “A Comparative Theory of Dispute Institutions in Society”, Law & Society Review, No. 8, PP. 217-342.
Alexis, G. and Patterson, D. (2013), “The Limits of Normative Legal Pluralism: Review of Paul Schiff Berman, Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law beyond Borders”, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 11 (3), PP. 783-800.
Camaroff, J. L. & Simon, R. (1981), Rules and Processes: The Cultural Logic of Disputes in an African Context, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chiba, M. (1989), Legal Pluralism: Toward General Theory through Japanese Legal Culture, Japan: Tokai University Press.
Dupret, B. (2007), “Legal Pluralism, Plurality of Laws, and Legal Practice”, European Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 1 (1), pp. 1-26.
Ehrlich, E. (1936), Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Fracticelli, M. & Victor M. (2014), The Structure of Pluralism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Galanter, L.M. (1981), “Justice in Many Rooms: Courts, Private Ordering, and Indigenous Law”, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, No. 19, PP. 1- 47.
Gardiol, Van N. (2001), “Ideological Combat, State Initiatives to Incorporate Non-State Laws into the Official Legal Order: A Denial of Legal Pluralism”, The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, Vol. 34(3), PP. 349-361.
Gilissen, J. (1971), "Introduction à ľ étde comparée du pluralisme juridique, in J. Gilissen (ed.), Le Pluralisme Juridique, Brussels: Université  de Bruxelles.
Griffiths, J. (1986), “What is Legal Pluralism?”, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, No. 24, PP. 1-55.
Hooker, M.B. (1975), An Introduction to Colonial and Neo-Colonial Laws, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jackson, S.A. (2006), “Legal Pluralism Between Islam and the Nation-State: Romantic Medievalism or Pragmatic Modernity?”, Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 30 (1), PP. 158-176.
Kennedy, D. (2007), “One, Two, Three, Many Legal Orders: Legal Pluralism and the Cosmopolitan Dream”, New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Vol.  31 (3), PP. 641-661.
Malinowski, B. (1972), Crime and Custom in Savage Society, Totawa, New Jersey: Littlefield, Adams & Company.
Melissaris, E. (2009), Ubiquitous Law, Legal Theory and the Space for Legal Pluralism, England: Ashgate.
Merry, S.E. (1988), “Legal Pluralism”, Law and Society Review, Vol. 22, PP. 869-896.
Moore, S.F. (1973), “Law and Social Change: The Semi-Autonomous Social Field as an Appropriate Subject of StudyLaw and Society Review, Vol. 7(4), PP. 719-746.
Moore, S.F. (1978), Law as Process: An Anthropological Approach, London: Rouledge & Kegan Paul.
Raz, J. (2009), The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Roberts, S. (1979), Order and Dispute: An Introduction to Legal Anthropology, Harmondsworth, England: Penguine Books.
Tamanaha, B.Z. (1993), “The Folly of the Social Scientific Concept of Legal Pluralism”, Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 20(2), PP. 192-217.
Tamanaha, B.Z. (2000), “A Non-Essentialist Version of Legal Pluralism”, Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 27(2), PP. 296-321.
Tamanaha, B.Z. (2001), A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society, New York: Oxford University Press.
Tamanaha, B.Z. (2008), “Understanding Legal Pluralism: Past to the Present, Local to Global”, Sydney Law Review, Vol. 30, PP. 375-411.
Tamanaha, B.Z. (2009), “Law and Society”, Legal Studies Research Papers Series, St. John’s University.
Waldron, J. (2001), Law and Disagreement, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Woodman, G.R. (1997), “Book Review”, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, No. 39, PP. 155-161.
Woodman, G.R. (1998), “Ideological Combat and Social Observation: Recent Debate about Legal Pluralism”, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, Vol. 30, PP. 21-59.