Exploring Legal Multiculturalism in the Irish Sea: Multiculturalism, Proto-Democracy, and State Formation on the Isle of Man from 900-1300

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Virginia Tech


This thesis explores the relationship between proto-democracy, multiculturalism, and state formation. In the introduction, I express the desire to ascertain how legal multiculturalism on the Isle of Man could be viewed as a product of the shared proto-democratic character of the Irish and the Norse legal traditions. Further, I wish to explore how this multiculturalism influenced the development of the state on the island and, coming full circle, what multiculturalism and state formation meant for the future of proto-democracy on the island. In this thesis, I conclude that many of the institutions that played a role in fostering state formation on Man, such as the keys, coroners, and parishes, were themselves a product of legal multiculturalism. Further, I argue that this legal multiculturalism and state formation in turn results in a loss of institutions on Man that characterized the separate legal traditions as proto-democracies.



Democracy, Multiculturalism, State Formation, Political History, Isle of Man