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To hybridity and beyond: reflections on legal and normative complexity

Donlan, Seán P. (2015) To hybridity and beyond: reflections on legal and normative complexity. In: Mixed Legal Systems, East and West: Newest Trends and Developments. Routledge, Surrey, England, UK, pp. 17-32. ISBN 978147247847

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I’ve referred to my recent research on legal and normative complexity as the study of 'hybridity and diffusion', the modest investigation of the mixtures and movements of laws and norms, past and present and around the globe. This research must, I argue, be comparative across both space and time, involving comparative law and legal history, among other disciplines and sub-disciplines. The social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology, are particularly important. Because the 'concept of law' — as the debate is normally phrased in Anglophone scholarship — is also implicated, legal philosophy is also essential. I don’t claim that my approach is entirely novel, but suggest that it might prove a useful perspective from which to better understand the role that laws and norms play in the daily lives of ordinary people around the world. This short article attempts to briefly lay out the broad outlines of this approach and to encourage similar research through inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaboration. It also takes a brief detour to discuss the Western 'folk concept' of law. My intention is not to erect a new terminology or taxonomy, but to sketch a rough, conceptual map that allows scholars to better understand both legal and normative practices. I want to create a kind of descriptive, critical and constructive, 'deep focus', as that term is used in photography and cinema, where clarity in depth is achieved through significant light and sustained focus.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
Depositing User: Sean Donlan
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 04:18
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 04:11

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