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Intercultural Justice. Cutting Across the Cultural Boundaries of Legal Norms

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Abstract

This chapter explores the possibilities of inter-normativity in culturally complex contexts and its relation to the idea of a reflexive or self-critical modernity. The paper looks at the debates on justice in contemporary political philosophy in order to show the shortfalls of a constructivist approach to the normative analysis of culture, while it simultaneously portrays the affinity of the communitarian approach to several pluralist currents in modern legal anthropology. The key to the cultural translation of the principles of justice is to be found in their social and subjective effectiveness and in the affinity among the social goods to be normatively protected. The paper refers to several experiences of legal pluralism with ethno-religious communities and native peoples, and to the demands of Islamic feminism, to demonstrate that it is possible to ‘read’ customary practices through the lenses of state law and to defend ‘modern’ normative intentions with traditional languages and principles.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    “The rules that, by themselves, people living together consider binding, are the living law. They constitute a legal order just like those included in legal codes. The difference is that the former become valid by the voluntary action of the parties involved, whereas the latter must, to a great extent, be enforced by the courts and public authority” (Ehrlich 1986: 233).

  2. 2.

    The French term dénaturation refers to the loss by a legal system of the characteristics that define its specificity against other systems, so that “the legal system is dispossessed of what constitutes its identity, leaving the population with rules and habits that are in the process of losing their meaning” (Bé-Nkogho Bé 2006).

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Correspondence to Francisco Colom González .

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González, F.C. (2013). Intercultural Justice. Cutting Across the Cultural Boundaries of Legal Norms. In: Merle, JC. (eds) Spheres of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5998-5_17

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