Legal Pluralism and Progressive Constitutionalism: An introduction to the South African challenge for Post-National Governance

Authors Luca Siliquini-Cinelli

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: Lecturer, School of Law, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Australia
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 2 Issue 1, p. 1 – 27


The aim of this article is to contribute to the current academic debate on pluralist mechanisms of post-national governance as a particular type of ‘stateless law’. More precisely, this article is conceived as an introduction to aid further research on the shape (and extent) that post-national governance may eventually assume (and reach) in South Africa. Attention is, therefore, paid to legal pluralism as a key factor of pluralist settings of post-national government. An overview of the essence and features of post-national governance is provided, and a brief comparison is made between hard hierarchical and soft-networked forms of governance. In pursuing the suggested roadmap, reference is made to the current European landscape on post-national governance, which is ontologically inevitable in discussing the essence, structure, aims, challenges and limitations of post-national governance. Moreover, the necessity of adopting a comparative modus investigandi is due to the circumstance that although South Africa and the European Union (EU) share important elements (e.g., legal pluralism, financial instability and future common challenges), South Africa has an extremely progressive constitution — a result that the EU has been unable to achieve formally. Thus, while explaining why South Africa may represent fertile ground for such an architecture of governance, this article discusses why the South African Constitution may be a ‘value add’ that may help post-national governance avoid the difficulties thus far encountered on the European continent.