Keywords: Modern state; legal pluralism; judicialisation; ethnicity; negotiation.
This article aims to analyse the relation between politics and law in the face of a growing global legal pluralism and the multifarious changes this emerging condition is bringing about in both the political and the legal fields. The author casts some light on the current crisis of politics and its increasing proclivity for relying on the activity of legal actors. He argues that, while law has long been subjected to the control of the state, to such an extent that state law was believed to be the sole valid law, today the rise of a plurality of legal sources and the emergence of new political mediators are gradually eroding the supremacy of the state and shaping novel, unexpected scenarios. The article plunges into these issues to emphasise the productive ambiguity that characterises such processes: at one and the same time they can be as potentially harmful and disempowering as able to yield a state of affairs in which social actors become the driving force of political change.