This book approaches law as a process embedded in transnational personal, religious, communicative and economic relationships that mediate between international, national and local practices, norms and values. It uses the concept "living law" to describe the multiplicity of norms manifest in transnational moral, social or economic practices that transgress the territorial and legal boundaries of the nation-state. Focusing on transnational legal encounters located in family life, diasporic religious institutions and media events in countries like Norway, Sweden, Britain and Scotland, it demonstrates the multiple challenges that accelerated mobility and increased cultural and normative diversity is posing for Northern European law. For in this part of the world, as elsewhere, national law is challenged by a mixture of expanding human rights obligations and unprecedented cultural and normative pluralism enhanced by expanding global communication and market relations. As a consequence, transnationalization of law appears to create homogeneity, fragmentation and ambiguity, expanding space for some actors while silencing others. Through the lens of a variety of important contemporary subjects, the authors thus engage with the nature of power and how it is accommodated, ignored or resisted by various actors when transnational practices encounter national and local law.
Anne Hellum is a Professor of Law in the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo, and co-editor of several books including Human Rights: Plural Legalities and Gendered Realities (Weaver Press, 2007). Shaheen Sardar Ali is a Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick, and author of Gender and Human Rights in Islam and International Law: Equal Before Allah, Unequal Before Man? (Kluwer, 2000). Anne Griffiths is a Professor in the School of Law at Edinburgh University and co-editor of books including Spatializing Law: An Anthropological Geography of Law in Society (Ashgate, 2009).
'This set of highly instructive and insightful case studies of transnational personal, social, religious and economic relations in Northern Europe is at the cutting edge of sociolegal analysis of the ambiguous outcomes of gender, class and status in this age of accelerated mobility of people, technologies and normative systems.' Abdullahi A. An-Na'im, Emory University Law School, USA 'This is an original critical accounting of legal pluralism as nationalist discourse, read in light of new transnational realities across Northern Europe. The regional focus thickens the analysis - in the process unsettling conceptual boundaries, remixing institutions and intimate lives, and deepening the implications for contemporary studies of law and society.' Carol J. Greenhouse, Princeton University, USA