Berman Book Discussion: Paul Berman’s “Global Legal Pluralism”

by Peter Spiro

We’re delighted this week to host a discussion of Paul Schiff Berman’s “Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders” (Cambridge University Press). Paul is the Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School. This is a rich and broadly argued book (Paul confesses to being a “lumper,” I think in the best sense). From the jacket:

We live in a world of legal pluralism, where a single act or actor is potentially regulated by multiple legal or quasi-legal regimes imposed by state, substate, transnational, supranational and nonstate communities. Navigating these spheres of complex overlapping legal authority is confusing and we cannot expect territorial borders to solve all these problems. At the same time, those hoping to create one universal set of legal rules are also likely to be disappointed by the sheer variety of human communities and interests. Instead, we need an alternative jurisprudence, one that seeks to create or preserve spaces for productive interaction among multiple, overlapping legal systems by developing procedural mechanisms, institutions and practices that aim to manage, without eliminating, the legal pluralism we see around us. Global Legal Pluralism provides a broad synthesis across a variety of legal doctrines and academic disciplines and offers a novel conceptualization of law and globalization.

We’ll be joined for the roundtable by Jeff Dunoff (Temple Law); Janet Levit (Tulsa Law); Hari Osofsky (Minnesota Law); and David Zaring (Wharton), along with members of the regular OJ team. We’ll look forward to a stimulating discussion of Paul’s important new book.

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