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This book engages with the traditional questions of legal theory but its analysis rests on the contention that ‘law’ is not confined to the state. Despite the increasing range of contemporary approaches to law, nearly all legal theory maintains the presumption that ‘the legal’ is essentially, centrally, or even necessarily state law.
Against the backdrop of analytical jurisprudence, the book draws theoretical connections and continuities between different experiences, spheres, and modalities of law – and in particular legal pluralism. Taking up the many forms of critical and socio-legal thought, it presents a broad challenge to legal essentialism, as well as an important contribution to a more general normative theory. Reading, crystallising, and extending themes that have emerged in legal thought over the past century, this book is the culmination of the author’s twenty-five years of engagement with legal theory. Its bold attempt to forge a thoroughly contemporary approach to law will be of enormous value to those with interests in legal and socio-legal theory.