Legal pluralism allows competing rules of legal responsibility, and often makes possible the evasion of any. This panel wants to explore processes of the fragmentation of responsibility and responses to them, and of changing relations of responsibility in legally plural situations.
Legal responsibility seems to be increasingly elusive in a world in which the perception of increasingly complex global interdependencies makes the attribution of causal responsibility a matter of contestation. The heightened pluralism of legal orders at all levels of governance not only offers competing rules of legal responsibility (and thereby often makes possible the evasion of any) but also fragments the normative base for the attribution of responsibility. This despite global discourses of a unified normative ideal of responsibility as proposed in the Human Rights system and attempts to integrate legal heterogeneity in forms of "multicultural jurisprudence". Empirical examples of such potential fragmentations and contradictions range from the use of and care for "the commons" to narratives of guilt as established by international criminal law. In many countries in which land tenure depends on legal pluralism, international claims on the biodiversity (as World Heritage) and the need for Protected Areas raise new questions about responsibilities. Legal pluralism in the domain of kinship and family make also the responsibility for children uncertain in case of divorce or fosterage. These emerging uncertainties of legal responsibility have engendered diverse forms of disquiet, ranging from vocal demands of accountability, the shifting of legal responsibility into moral spheres, to more quietist de-ontological constructions of responsibility. This panel wants to explore processes of the fragmentation of responsibility and responses to them; it seeks papers which analyse changing relations of responsibility and trace emerging trajectories of the attribution of responsibility in legally plural situations.