REview : Dossier “droit et anthropologie. ARCHEOLOGIE d’un savoir et enjeux contemporains”, CLIO@Themis n°15

Frédéric Audren et Laetitia Guerlain

Introduction. Un nouvel agenda pour l’anthropologie du droit ?

En s’emparant de la thématique des rapports entre droit et anthropologie, ce numéro de Clio@Themis s’inscrit, à l’instar de numéros précédents, dans la perspective d’une histoire sociale et intellectuelle du droit. C’est à partir des rapports difficiles entre droit et anthropologie que ce volume poursuit plus spécifiquement l’enquête sur le couple droit et (autres) sciences sociales, entendu ici, non seulement comme objet, mais également comme méthode. Que les relations entre droit et anthropologie (…)

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Louis Assier-Andrieu

Difficulté et nécessité de l’anthropologie du droit

Abstract : This article aims to deepen the understanding of the Western legal tradition with the instruments of cultural anthropology. Recalling the properties of legal reason, it opens the way for a new relationship between law and anthropology. It also warns against the temptation to extend the domination of this Western reason over other societies and cultures.

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Géraldine Cazals

Les juristes humanistes de la Renaissance, des anthropologues en puissance ? Réflexions autour de quelques études (principalement françaises) de cas

Abstract : Questioning the role played by jurists – mainly French – in the history of anthropology during the Renaissance, this article highlights the way in which humanist jurists found themselves, through their philological and historical work, at the heart of an immense collection of ethnographic knowledge. It shows how the extend of the progress in cosmography and legal comparatism allowed them to develop reflections of an anthropological nature. In doing so, it is necessary not only to focus on the contribution of humanist jurists to anthropology, but also to include the development of anthropology in the Renaissance in an epistémè belonging the legal field.

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Kaius Tuori

Law and Rationality : A Historiographical Survey of the Understanding of Motivation and Human Agency in Early Legal Anthropology

Abstract : The purpose of this article is to examine how nineteenth-century legal science conceptualized and dealt with otherness in law, with examples of legal phenomena such as ordeal and blood revenge to illustrate how the concept of legal rationality evolved in the early legal anthropology and how it still influences our understanding of legal otherness. It provides new insights on how, in the treatment of specific legal institutions, the ideas of reason and rationality could change as scholars used European medieval history to aid in the understanding of indigenous cultures.

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Silvia Falconieri

Droit colonial et anthropologie. Expertises ethniques, enquêtes et études raciales dans l’outre-mer français (Fin du XIXesiècle-1946)

Abstract : In the context of 19th– and 20th-century French colonialism, anthropological knowledge plays a crucial role when it comes to legally categorising colonised populations. What are the forms, modalities and aims at stake when the law encountered that other knowledge ? What is the anthropology of colonial legal experts ? How are the knowledge, tools and techniques of anthropology mobilised by colonial jurists, and what are the consequences ? In the light of these questions, this article tackles the issues at stake when colonial law met physical and racial anthropology in the shaping of the statuses of subject and citizen in the French Empire. The analysis of the particular case of the non-recognised Métis being granted French citizenship shows that specialists in colonial law made extensive use of contemporaneous anthropological studies. Not only did they appropriate the contents of anthropological research, but they also learned a method which was to be mobilized in the judicial proceeding. In the 1920s, « ethnic expertise » and investigation became the pillars of a new legal proceeding that was, in large part, the result of the rapprochement of colonial law and racial anthropology.

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Alain Chenu

René Maunier, Album graphique de la statistique criminelle de l’Égypte (1890-1918). Un inédit centenaire présenté par Alain Chenu

Abstract : As the head of statistics at the Egyptian ministery of Justice, René Maunieur drew up a « graphic album of penal statistics in Egypt » (1918), describing the trends in crime and offences registered by the « indigeneous jusrisdictions » from 1890 to 1918. This set of tables, curves, maps, and histograms follows an « explanatory note » where the author defined his guidelines and reviewed the literature in the field of criminal statistics in Egypt. In his presentation, Alain Chenu invites to an upgrading of Maunier’s involvement in the use of statistical methods, and tries to answer a question : why has Maunier, later on, left behind statistics ?

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Laetitia Guerlain

Entre science juridique et savoirs anthropologiques : évolutionnisme et histoire comparée du droit chez Émile Jobbé-Duval (1851-1931)

Abstract : This paper sketches the intellectual portrait of Roman law professor Émile Jobbé-Duval. It tries to analyse the way the author combines legal history with the anthropological and evolutionnist literature of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. This article therefore reassesses the contribution of the French jurists to the making of legal anthropology. Their works have indeed been deeply influenced by their anthropological readings, which they have mobilised by using intertextuality.

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Albane Geslin

Une brève historiographie de « pluralisme juridique » : quand les usages d’une notion en font un instrument de luttes politiques

Abstract : My basic argument is that “legal pluralism” (concept and words) is, in anthropological discourses, not only a descriptive notion, but above all a political struggles tool. Those struggles take place on three fields : scientific, academic, and ethical. All of them contest State and its law, its role in social-lige and how jurists legitimize this role.

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Irène Bellier

La reconnaissance des peuples autochtones comme sujets du droit international. Enjeux contemporains de l’anthropologie politique en dialogue avec le droit

Abstract : This article explains how the relational political category [Indigenous Peoples] raises new debates in anthropology and law. By returning to linguistic issues – as the statement of this international category varies according to the dominant languages and its uses fall into various political contexts – it specifies the stakes of the differentiation between the terms « people » and « population », the [s] making a difference in English (the working language of the United Nations) between people (individuals) and peoples (collective). The treatment of indigenous issues induces a series of epistemological transformations stimulating an analytical reflection on the institutions and forms of government of the collective. New areas of dialogue between anthropology and law emerge from this perspective, particularly on the meaning of law, on land issues that must be reconsidered in the light of the pressure of multinational companies (extractive or agro-industrial) on indigenous territories and on systemic classifications.

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Fernanda Pirie

Legalism : a turn to history in the anthropology of law

Abstract : Notorious definitional debates have characterized the anthropology of law, and scholars have not reached consensus over how “law” is to be distinguished from other social phenomena. This article suggests that light can be shed upon this issue by combining the insights of anthropologists and historians. Careful comparison among empirical examples highlights the importance of texts and the legal form. Case studies from Tibet are used to illustrate these points and draw attention to the phenomenon of legalism, that is, the use of generalizing rules and abstract categories to describe and organise the world. This provides a basis for exploring the nature and significance of law, both in the modern world and societies of the past.

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Frédéric Audren | Jacques Flach

DOCUMENT : L’ethnologie juridique au Collège de France : le cours de Jacques Flach sur les Institutions primitives (1892-1904)

Abstract : This paper presents Jacques Flach’s Collège de France course in primitive law, which he taught from 1892 until 1904. It insists on the specificity of his historical and comparative approach. Ever attentive to studying institutions in their context, Flach proposes an innovative interpretation of feudalism, seeks to write a global history of law and endeavours to stress the institutional alterity of primitive societies. Flach is therefore among the first scholars to teach social and legal anthropology in France.

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Annelise Riles (auteur)

Le droit est-il porteur d’espoir ?

Abstract : This essay asks what legal studies can contribute to the now vigorous debates in economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, literary studies and anthropology about the nature and sources of hope in personal and social life. What does the law contribute to hope  ? Is there anything hopeful about law ? Rather than focus on the ends of law (social justice, economic efficiency, etc.) this essay focuses instead on the means (or techniques of the law). Through a critical engagement with the work of Hans Vaihinger, Morris Cohen and Pierre Schlag on legal fictions and legal technicalities, the essay argues that what is “hopeful” about law is its “As If” quality.

Laetitia Guerlain (présentatrice) | Prune Decoux et David Foulks (traducteurs)  

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Citer ce billet
Frédéric (2019, 7 février). REview : Dossier “droit et anthropologie. ARCHEOLOGIE d’un savoir et enjeux contemporains”, CLIO@Themis n°15. Law & Anthropology / Droit & Anthropologie. Consulté le 24 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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