This text seeks to situate socio-legal studies in a global context. Law and society scholarship in the United States and elsewhere typically assumes one legal system and one society and explores the relationship between them. Such a narrow endeavor perpetuates a Western international relations model that too often conflates law, culture and the nation-state. A more global socio-legal perspective engages with multiple laws and societies within and across national borders and recognizes diverse socio-legal systems based on very different historical and cultural traditions, interacting on multiple local, national and global levels. This more global perspective also reveals an array of transnational issues including regional conflicts, genocide, mass immigration, environmental degradation, and climate change that have consistently defied resolution via conventional international system of governance. The approach to global legal pluralism outlined here seeks to provide a framework for envisioning new global governance regimes that move beyond state-based solutions to deal with trenchant transnational challenges.
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