Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders (GLP) by Paul Schiff Berman is a legal pluralist’s contribution to the study of local and global regulation. In a tour de force, Berman articulates clear and concise arguments in support of adopting a pluralist lens (coined as a cosmopolitan pluralist perspective). He magnificently traverses the multiple and complex bodies of literature that seek to understand the various inchoate regulatory regimes, actors, norms, and processes, to simply state that we must harness the benefits of the overlapping legal authorities. The overlapping legal authorities for Berman produce legal hybridity, which is a product of globalization(s).
A body of literature has been fast developing over the last 20 years that seeks to understand, unpack, and deconstruct some of international law’s universalizing tendencies. These contributions directly challenge GLP’s universalizing liberal, functional, and proceduralist agenda. Drawing from these insights, one of the main questions concerning Berman’s project is how norms are constructed. Berman assumes that the norms, actors, and institutions come into existence without political contestations and political compromises with specific winners and losers. When he recognizes compromise, it is always between those that are wedded to the idea of nation state and those seeking world law. Yet, his analysis does not seem to inquire about the historical nature of the institutions, their practices, and the politics from which the institutions have emerged.