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In the twenty-first century we are still living in an era of the nation state. In the Europe of today, the state provides the source of law and is the legitimiser of sources of law, offering a predomi-nantly monolithic, cen-tralised, territorial top-down model of law, which may or may not allow competing sources of law to exist. When it does not allow this, it is regar-ded as intolerant, undemocratic, even despotic and self-referential. When it does so, however, this appears to be a weak version of legal pluralism where the top-down source of law is receptive to other sources and is therefore regarded as tolerant, democratic, multicultural and reflecting an open society. In the Western tradition, the stronger version of legal plu-ralism, in which levels of law of equal value coexist in the same terri-torial or social space as overlapping orders, with the same status as state law and independent of it, is not favoured. The centralist forces of the unitary state do not live comfortably with so many rivals.