G47
Re-imagining the local: legal pluralism in a transnational world (IUAES commission on Legal Pluralism)

Convenors:
Anne Griffiths (Edinburgh University)
Location:
University Place 4.211
Start time:
8 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel explores the contours of the 'local' within a transantional world by re-Pimgagining how it is constituted through the emergence of new identities, alliances and struggles for power that move beyond its conception as physically or territorially grounded. It examines how legal pluralism operates, creating spaces for change.

Long abstract:

In recent decades attention has focused on transnational relations and transnational laws and the plural legal constellations that they embody that construct notions of identity and belonging, of 'self' and 'other' that extend beyond the frontiers of the nation-state. Under these conditions what is 'local' and what is 'global' becomes open to question as the state becomes re-positioned as an element but not necessarily the reference point from which to examine social and legal relations. This panel explores how transnational forces and their impact are shaped by local actors in particular contexts in order to promote an understanding of how 'external' interventions become endowed with diverse and localized sets of meaning and practices. It moves beyond a conception of the local as physically or territorially grounded to one that examines how it is constituted. This not only takes account of a specific site in which social relations are bounded and locally constituted but also incorporates how perceptions of what is local are discursively and historically constructed. It is one that engages with the experiences and representational map constructed of a specific place by its occupants in relation to themselves and to a wider world. In this more spatial approach to depicting the local, law cannot be ignored, for it serves to produce space yet in turn is shaped by a socio-spatial context. By re-imagining the local this panel seeks to reframe the ways in which the local and transnational or global relationships are conceived, including the role of legal pluralism. It aims to promote a better understanding of what gives rise to the uneven and diverse effects of globalisation, along with the processes of 'internalisation' and 'relocalisation' of global conditions that may allow for the emergence of new identities, alliances and struggles for space and power within specific populations.