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Grounding Transnational Law

Auteurs Keebet von Benda-Beckmann
Auteursinformatie

272960 Keebet von Benda-Beckmann
Keebet von Benda-Beckmann is head of the Project Group Legal Pluralism at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. She also holds honorary chairs in social anthropology and legal pluralism at the Universities of Leipzig and Halle. She has carried out research on dispute management, social security, natural resources in West Sumatra, the Moluccas, and in the Netherlands. She has been conducting field research on the effects of decentralisation and reforms of local government in West Sumatra since the fall of the Suharto regime. She has widely published on dispute management, resources, social security, and on theoretical issues of legal pluralism.
  • Samenvatting

      This paper presents a reflection on the theoretical work on the social working of law of the past two decades. It is argued that early assumptions, that legal models were becoming increasingly globalised, creating an increasingly uniform body of law, have not come true. The global spread of neo-capitalism has not only given rise to de-juridification, it has also engendered juridification in which ever more sectors of social life, from small scale to global, are being colonised by law. This development is initiated from above and below in equal measure, and concerns not only the law of nation states, but also law created by other actors, including religious law of various provenance. The paper argues that great progress has been made in understanding how transnational law is generated and how law is transnationalised, but that the ways in which these processes work when actors actually use this transnationalised law in contexts of legal pluralism are not yet adequately understood. The paper presents a perspective on transnationalisation of law that is grounded in space, a perspective that may aid our understanding of the social working of law in transnational contexts. The first section provides a brief survey of some of the main academic approaches to processes of transnationalisation. The second section addresses the issue of location and considers what happens in settings where actors use transnationalising law. The conclusions discuss the value of transnational space and transnational legal space as concepts for the analysis of transnationalising law.

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