Archives de catégorie : Livres

LIVRE : Les reliques en action – Variations juridiques sur la force agissante des choses sacrées

Sous la direction de Xavier Perrot (Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2019)

Le présent ouvrage fait suite à un colloque qui s’est tenu à la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Économiques de Limoges en 2016, année des 72e Ostensions septennales limousines et marchoises. Ces célébrations furent l’occasion pour juristes et historiens de réinterroger, différemment peut-être, la notion de relique à l’aune de ce corps-objet qui, faisant image, fait agir et réagir au sein de l’espace sacré d’hier, mais aussi civique d’aujourd’hui.

Dix contributions consacrées essentiellement aux reliques chrétiennes se distribuent ainsi dans ce volume, autour de la triade Réagir, Vénérer, Douter, trois verbes d’action qui lèvent un coin du voile sur le mystère de la sainteté, les émotions face au sacré et les enjeux juridiques contemporains. Objets de vénération, parfois de détestation, objets patrimoniaux et également objets de droit, les reliques sont bien dans la cité – en action – ce qui en fait des objets bons à penser pour les sciences sociales.

Sommaire :

– Avant-propos, Xavier Perrot


– L’agilité triomphante des saints : le « corps animé » de Catherine de Bologne (Stéphane Boiron)

– Le manuscrit de la lettre florentine des Pandectes : une relique civique (Valérie Hayaert)

– Réflexions sur l’inscription des Ostensions septennales limousines par l’UNESCO sur la Liste représentative du patrimoine culturel immatériel de l’humanité (Virginie Saint-James)


– Reliques et puissance sacrale paroissiale – Limoges XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles (Pascal Texier)

– Une « dévotion indiscrète » Privation de reliques et émotion populaire au début du XVIIIe siècle. Le cas de saint Julien d’Alexandrie (Albrecht Burkardt)

– Le dernier voyage de saint Jean de Rila La translation des reliques dans le contexte du début de la domination ottomane (Ivan Biliarsky)

– Les reliques et les Protestants (Dominique Gaurier)


– Définir la relique : entre authenticité et identité (Laura Viaut)

– Statut du cadavre et reliques humaines (Anne-Blandine Caire)

– Les Ostensions limousines devant le Conseil d’état (Jean Morange)

Collection CIAJ
Année de publication 2019
Langue Français
ISBN10 2-84-287-736-1
ISBN13 9782842877361
Format Livre broché
Pages 216
Discipline Droits, Sciences éco, gestion


Book Review: An Anthropology of Marxism by Cedric J. Robinson

In An Anthropology of Marxism, reissued posthumously, Cedric J. Robinson provides a novel lens for deconstructing the work of Karl Marx by challenging Marx’s assertion that capitalism is an essential precondition for socialism. Robinson’s account holds great potential as a tool of political praxis, writes Eric Loefflad, and its critique of Marxism offers a new dimension of Marxist strategy for today’s world. An Anthropology of Marxism. Cedric J. Robinson. Pluto Press. 2019. 
In the decade following the 2008 financial crisis, global inequality is rising, climate disaster is impending and far-right authoritarianism is enjoying one political victory after another. As existing institutional logics fail to explain, let alone rectify, these situations, it is unsurprising that Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism, long marginalised after the fall of the Soviet Union, is experiencing a resurgence. However, this renewed Marxist interest is accompanied by claims that Marxism is prone to rigidity/exclusionism in its theory of universal emancipation. Diverse in its manifestations, this line of critique has portrayed the Marxist tradition as flawed in its primary location of transformative agency in a predominantly white male industrial working class whose exploitation is facilitated by their status as formally equal agents. What is lost in this account is capitalism’s reliance on inequality-based structures that include: the uncompensated labour of women in the domestic sphere, racialised colonial dispossession and the coerced extraction of value from slaves, serfs and peasants.

Against this backdrop, Cedric J. Robinson’s An Anthropology of Marxism (hereinafter ‘Anthropology’) provides a novel lens for deconstructing the work of Marx and the critiques lodged against it. Reissued from its original 2001 edition with a foreword from HLT Quan and a preface by Avery Gordon, the central argument of the now deceased Robinson is that Marx was incorrect in his assertion that capitalism is an essential precondition for socialism. Here he frames Marx’s theoretical synthesis of German philosophy, English political economy and the French revolutionary legacy as failing to interrogate its own cultural and intellectual presumptions. Rather, by rejecting pre-Enlightenment emancipatory endeavours as inconsequential instances of ‘primitive socialism’, Marx embraced the very conceits of bourgeois ideology he purported to critique. From this premise, Robinson offers an alternative genealogy of socialism by turning to eleventh-, twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe. According to this narrative, peasant uprisings against the power of merchants, feudal lords and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were driven by interpretations of Christianity that, in varying form, called for radical distributional and gender equality. This foundational eruption of socialism prompted the existing order to suppress these efforts through a reconfiguration of previously pluralistic Christian doctrines that labelled these popular movements as ‘heretical’. Yet, despite this concerted suppression, a formative socialism lived on through religious orders such as the Franciscans, and later the Jesuits, who attained influence as dispute resolvers and charity-providers throughout Europe and later its overseas colonies.

From here, Robinson shows how the legacies of formative socialism shaped the thought of both Immanuel Kant and Georg Hegel, yet were excluded from Marx’s depiction of these theorists. Following this, Anthropology turns to Marx’s usage of Aristotle. Here Robinson claims that Aristotle’s conception of a political society of formally equal citizens, and its erasure of women and slaves, is reproduced in Marx’s conception of proletariat agency and its emphasis on formal equality as constitutive of capitalist social relations. For Robinson, this exclusion of medieval socialist formulations that centred the plight of formally unequal subjects was symptomatic of Marx’s investment in bourgeois Enlightenment conceptions of linear progress through rationality. Thus, under Marx’s influence:the originated discourse in Western socialism became subjugated knowledges. In their place socialism acquired an alternative and secularized natural history, one drawn from the discursive practices of scientific discourse and bourgeois hagiography (111).In evaluating Robinson’s argument, we must understand the intervention he was making in the context of Anthropology’s original 2001 publication. As Quan notes in the foreword, Robinson can be read as a response to the anti-socialist ethos of the post-Cold War era that purported to discard Marxism into the world-historic repository of failed ideas. Thus, in continuing the socialist project by unmooring it from its Marxist baggage, Robinson’s claim was ‘an unwavering act of faith in the ability and role of ordinary women and men to make their society anew’ (p. ix, notes omitted). While this may clarify Robinson’s purpose, it raises the question of how his analysis should be treated in our current moment in which Marxist critique has regained its relevance.That said, one means of engaging Robinson’s Anthropology is to understand it through the same modes of Marxist analysis it critiques. WhileAnthropology decries dialectical materialism as bourgeois intellectual arrogance that deprived socialism of its original promise, ironically Anthropology can be interpreted as presenting an extraordinarily innovative dialectic in its own right.  Here, if socialism, i.e. spiritual anti-hierarchical medieval communalism, was a ‘thesis’ that found its ‘antithesis’ in the individualistic rationality of the bourgeois Enlightenment, then Marxism can be understood as a ‘synthesis’ of the socialist ethic with Enlightenment analytical methods.This interpretation is supported by William Robert’s recent contextualisation of Capital within the workers’ movement of Marx’s time, which shows how Marx’s theory stemmed from claims that labour’s political goals required a sufficiently radical understanding of its distinct arena of struggle. If the medievally-rooted socialist ethic informed this backdrop of labour activism, then, far from ‘intellectual conceit’, Marx’s mastery over bourgeois theory for the purpose of levying an all-pervasive critique acted to prevent workers’ assertions from being co-opted by ultimately futile capitalist offerings of reform. While this view preserves Robinson’s premise that the existence of socialism is not contingent on the emergence of capitalism, it does add the caveat that perhaps socialism, at least in Marx’s context, required Marxism to resist capitalism.Nothing about this interpretation should detract from Robinson’s overarching point that we must decentre the agency of Marx’s privileged white male industrial working class when theorising anti-capitalist resistance. Although the Marxist tradition is certainly not without chauvinism in this regard, it has also been remarkably adaptive to self-critique. A key illustration of this is Onur Ince’s demonstration of how capitalist domination is a globally interconnected force, but its exploitation is experienced (and resisted) in different ways across varying temporal and spatial contexts that include wage labour, involuntary servitude and colonial dispossession. In taking this multi-layered perspective to the next level, Anthropology shows how postcolonial/decolonial critiques of Marxist orthodoxies regarding the non-European world also apply to Europe itself.Beyond its analytical value, Robinson’s account holds great potential as a tool of political praxis.  For what Anthropology confronts is the question of how exactly are we to make sense of the cultural and political significance of Europe’s medieval period in our current global moment? Especially in Europe and settler offshoots, this historical period is susceptible to being problematically invoked by both the liberal centre and the far right. For liberal centrists, this era can be characterised as an alleged ‘dark age’ of ignorant barbarism, and the fact that it was transcended justifies the narrative of linear progress. For the far right, this era acts as an alleged ‘golden age’ of pure white Christian identity that justifies the resurrection of violent, and potentially genocidal, fascism. Both of these narratives mischaracterise the material dynamics of the current global crisis and, in varying capacities, both are rooted in the belief in Western superiority over all other peoples. Through Robinson’s account, we are provided with a third option for understanding the contemporary meaning of Europe’s middle ages: a legacy of ordinary people struggling for emancipation against unjust material conditions. Thus, paradoxically, Anthropology’s relentless critique of Marxism offers great potential in forging an entirely new dimension of Marxist strategy in the actually-existing world.

Eric Loefflad is a PhD candidate in Law at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His current research focuses on the intertwined material histories of law, empire and the emergence of modern political consciousness.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics. 

bOOK REVIEW : Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction. Jim Reynolds. UBC Press. 2018.

Book Review: Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction by Jim Reynolds

Posted: 14 May 2019 06:13 AM PDTIn Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical IntroductionJim Reynolds offers an excellent new encapsulation of Canadian Aboriginal law, discussing 163 cases stretching from 1823 up until the present day and covering topics including sovereignty, Aboriginal title and treaties. Reynolds draws on his wealth of experience to provide a compendious summary of the development of Aboriginal law in Canada, writes Sarah PikeAboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction. Jim Reynolds. UBC Press. 2018.

‘Thoughtful and well-written (though brief!) analysis…’. This was part of the feedback I received in law school in 1993 on my Aboriginal Law paper about ‘Aboriginal title’, an Indigenous interest in land recognised by the common law. It occurs to me now, after practising Aboriginal law for much of the last 25 years and recently reading Jim Reynolds’s excellent new encapsulation of Canadian Aboriginal law, Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction, that my haste may not have been the only contributor to my brevity. In my defence – I now realise – there simply was a dearth of judicial decisions on my topic. Aboriginal Peoples makes clear from its very first page – a helpful one-page list of leading cases in Canadian Aboriginal law, stretching from 1823 (an American case) to 2016 – that there has been an explosion of Canadian judicial decisions concerning Aboriginal peoples and interests since the 1990s.
Of the 36 cases Reynolds lists on this opening page – his book discusses 163 overall – only ten had been decided when I was in law school. With respect to Aboriginal title, the subject matter of my paper, there were only two. The first was St. Catherine’s Milling (1888), decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England sitting in appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada (as it did then) but not involving any Indigenous parties. The second was Calder (1973), the first case brought by Indigenous plaintiffs for a declaration of Aboriginal title. The Supreme Court of Canada decided the case in 1973 but not on the merits, as the majority of the court held that the plaintiffs had not obtained the Crown’s consent to sue it – a fiat – as was required at the time. Reynolds discusses these two cases in several places in his book, most notably in a section entitled ‘History of the Law of Aboriginal Title’ (94-102).
Reynolds obtained his undergraduate law degree in 1967 and his PhD in law in 1970, both from the London School of Economics; he then taught at LSE for several years and qualified as a barrister in England, before becoming a barrister and solicitor in British Columbia in 1980. Over the last 40 years, he has had a front-row (and occasionally a driver’s) seat to many of the developments in Canadian Aboriginal law. Reynolds has now bestowed on us the benefit of his experience, teaching ability, concise writing and learned synthesis of how we got to where we are today in Canada with respect to the subject matters of his title: Aboriginal Peoples and the Law.
Aboriginal Peoples, as the publisher blurb explains, is aimed at ‘students taking both introductory and specialist courses in Aboriginal law, Indigenous studies, or the social sciences; lawyers with an interest in Aboriginal law; and journalists, government officials, business people, and other members of the public who want a better understanding of where the law stands today and where it should go in the future’. As a lawyer with several decades behind me, I learned something on nearly every page. Most importantly, I appreciated Reynolds’s explanation of the context in which the law has been made through judges’ decisions and also of the relationships between the history and the present and between various sub-fields of Aboriginal law. But I also used this book as my course textbook when I recently taught a law school Aboriginal Law course. My students, I believe, found Aboriginal Peoples a straightforward and easily-comprehensible explanation of the law that enabled them to get up to speed quickly and to begin to analyse current legal issues.
Each of the book’s eight chapters averages just under 30 pages and is well-written in plain English. Reynolds assumes the reader’s intelligence, but not that she is coming to the book with years of experience in Aboriginal law: indeed, his first chapter is entitled ‘What is Aboriginal Law?’. Reynolds includes an important second chapter on the ‘Historical Background’ to Aboriginal law in Canada, a topic indispensable to a proper understanding of Aboriginal law. Reynolds then adds a third foundational chapter, ‘Sovereignty and Aboriginal-Crown Relations’, again providing the reader with this essential overarching perspective.
The heart of Aboriginal Peoples – at least, perhaps, from a law student’s or lawyer’s perspective – is its middle chapters about ‘Aboriginal Rights and Title’, ‘Treaties’ and ‘Consultation, Accommodation, and Consent’. Here, Reynolds discusses the historical development of the caselaw on each broad legal topic, bringing the reader right up to the most recently-decided cases (as of mid-2018). He synthesises both judicial decisions and scholarship, enabling the reader to see the fabric that the law has woven, rather than only the threads making up that fabric.
Reynolds’s penultimate chapter addresses two vast topics:  ‘Indigenous and International Law’.  Indigenous law, in particular, is a rapidly-developing field as Indigenous peoples recover and develop their own laws and legal systems, many of which settler societies and legal systems around the world almost eradicated. Those who are interested in this field – in which there has been a bounty of Canadian legal academic writing in the last decade or more – might be disappointed that Reynolds does not provide more in this chapter. Some might also argue with his assertion that Indigenous laws ‘do not form part of the Canadian law except to the extent that they have been incorporated into Canadian common law’ (175). Yet Reynolds was relying on a judge’s decision in drawing that conclusion, and those who wish to read more about this topic – or any other that Reynolds so ably canvasses – can investigate further by following the plethora of footnotes accompanying each chapter.
In his final chapter, ‘A Just Society?’, Reynolds – appropriately – provides more questions than answers about the future of Aboriginal law in Canada, including ‘probably the most important question for non-Aboriginal people in areas such as British Columbia’ – Reynolds’s home and mine – ‘where treaties have not been signed and Aboriginal title still exists’. This question is: ‘what does Aboriginal title mean for private property rights?’ (200). Indeed, this aspect of Aboriginal title is now a topic for law school papers, and Reynolds’s book is an excellent place to start in understanding this still-unresolved conflict between two legal interests that both appear to ‘confer exclusive use and possession’ of land (201). Aboriginal Peoplesbrings the reader up-to-date with respect to the current caselaw on Aboriginal title, explaining the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in Delgamuukw (1997), then Marshall; Bernard (2005) and, finally, Tsilhqot’in (2014) (see especially Chapter Four), thereby helping him to more fully understand the intricacies of the remaining questions.
Reynolds concludes Aboriginal Peoples with a section entitled ‘Evaluation of Existing Law’, writing in the first person, as he does on occasion through the book. In my experience, one of the difficulties in analysing Aboriginal law – whether a court decision or academic commentary – is perceiving the writer’s perspective, and I appreciated knowing when Reynolds was attempting to objectively explain the law and when he was commenting on it. His approach, I believe, contributes to the reader’s comprehension of the extent to which individual perspective affects Aboriginal law in Canada; indeed, this matter of ‘who is doing the writing?’ is itself one of the final topics Reynolds addresses. He provides his opinion that some of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in Aboriginal law favour ‘liberal discourses of rights’, which include ‘an approach to equality that ignores, among other things, disparities in resources, political and social power, and social inequality generally’ (212-13). If a mark of a great book is that it makes one want to read further in the topic, then Reynolds has done a fine job. As is evident from this brief example, the questions and issues that Reynolds raises in his final pages are ones that not only law students and lawyers must consider, but also all citizens of Canada and many other settler nations as well.
That Reynolds provides us with his perspective occasionally in Aboriginal Peoples gives us a chance to reflect on how lucky we are as readers to be able to receive this, in addition to his compendious summary of the development of Aboriginal law in Canada. Were I to go back in my time machine to 1993 to discuss my paper with my law professor, I would keep Aboriginal Peoples and The Law: A Critical Introduction in my back pocket to help me better understand where we were in 1993, where we would be in 2018 and where we might very well end up in the years to come.

Sarah Pike is a lawyer in Vancouver, where she has worked since being called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1995. She has worked in a big firm, a small firm and government.  She has also been a graduate student in law and taught at a law school. Sarah is now a freelance lawyer practising Aboriginal and constitutional law through her own law firm, SPIKE Law.
Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics. 

BOOK : Leggi e giudici di fronte alle nuove realtà: nuove forme di filiazione e genitorialità

Alice Margaria

Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino

Year of publication



Il volume prende in esame il divario fra la realtà sociale vissuta concretamente dalle famiglie che hanno fatto ricorso alla procreazione medicalmente assistita (PMA) e la loro totale o parziale inesistenza sul piano giuridico, causata dallo scarso aggiornamento in materia del diritto scritto. L’avvento della PMA infatti, oltre a dar luogo a nuove modalità di formazione del nucleo familiare, ha comportato la frammentazione delle nozioni – un tempo unitarie – di maternità e paternità, producendo quindi potenziale confusione sul versante della determinazione dello «status filiationis» del nuovo nato. A fronte di una pluralità di figure potenzialmente e/o fattualmente genitoriali, la responsabilità di «fare ordine» e di rispondere alle diverse istanze e ai bisogni delle nuove famiglie è ricaduta sulle spalle dei giudici, i quali hanno talvolta trovato fonte d’ispirazione nella giurisprudenza della Corte europea dei diritti umani. Spingendosi oltre i confini europei, la ricerca indaga il ruolo giocato dai giudici nazionali nel «fare da ponte» tra diritto e società,.portando alla luce le logiche, le tecniche e i principi che li hanno guidati nel risolvere le innumerevoli controversie giunte alla loro attenzione.

Livre : Les rites et usages funéraires: essais d’anthropologie juridique

Auteur : Jean-François BOUDET (coord.)

Presses Universitaires Aix-Marseille

Les cérémonies mortuaires, les opérations liées aux sépultures et le culte des morts relèvent la plupart du temps de la religion.

En France, malgré l’affirmation d’une République laïque, en dépit des principes issus de la loi de séparation des Églises et de l’État du 9 décembre 1905 et de la fin du monopole de la religion en matière funéraire, la mort reste un sujet saisi par les religions. Cette situation repose sur l’expression d’une croyance liée au devoir dus aux morts. Si cette croyance dépasse même les religions au sens premier du terme pour s’étendre à d’autres pratiques et traditions, en d’autres parties du monde, elle demeure essentielle dans l’appréhension même de la mort.

Cette croyance, les pratiques et traditions qui en résultent, mettent ainsi en place des rites et usages funéraires qui appellent aujourd’hui un ensemble de questionnements et de réflexions dans un contexte mouvant de globalisations culturelles et financières et d’un retour des identités collectives autant qu’individuelles.

L’objet de cet ouvrage est ainsi de confronter cet événement qu’est la mort comme fait juridique, mais suivant une approche sociale, culturelle ou symbolique. Rassemblant un ensemble de contributions de chercheurs francophones (belges, canadiens, congolais, français, rwandais et suisses), cet ouvrage propose des lectures diversifiées sur les droits de la mort dans l’Histoire, les droits civils et la mort, les droits religieux et la mort ou encore les ailleurs de la mort.

Table des matières : ici

ISBN: 9782731411263. Nombre de pages: 296


I. Merle (CNRS/CREDO), A. Muckle, L’indigénat. Genèses dans l’empire français. Pratiques en Nouvelle-Calédonie (Victoria University Wellington), Paris, 2019, CNRS éditions, 691.p

L’indigénat évoque une triste histoire. D’abord, pour les colonisés qui subirent pendant plus d’un demi-siècle les effets de ce régime juridique répressif. Ensuite, pour la nation française qui dévoya en colonie ses idéaux démocratiques en refusant de les étendre à ceux qu’elle soumettait.L’indigénat évoque une triste histoire. D’abord, pour les colonisés qui subirent pendant plus d’un demi-siècle les effets de ce régime juridique répressif. Ensuite, pour la nation française qui dévoya en colonie ses idéaux démocratiques en refusant de les étendre à ceux qu’elle soumettait.

Ce livre offre, pour la première fois, une histoire du régime de l’indigénat sur la longue durée, depuis ses origines les plus lointaines dans l’Algérie de la conquête jusqu’aux héritages les plus contemporains en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Dans ce pays, l’indigénat éclaire avec force les pratiques de la domination coloniale du point de vue de ceux qui l’exercent comme de ceux qui la subissent.

Isabelle Merle et Adrian Muckle offrent une réflexion au long cours sur la fabrique de la condition indigène et de l’exception coloniale à travers l’histoire singulière de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, dont la mémoire continue de hanter les débats contemporains.

Otis ghislain (ed.), Contributions à l’étude des systèmes juridiques autochtones et coutumiers, HermanN, 2018

Cet ouvrage collectif sur les systèmes juridiques autochtones et coutumiers est publié au moment où la connaissance de ces systèmes, restés jusqu’à aujourd’hui largement invisibles aux yeux de la majorité, est plus que jamais nécessaire à ceux qui réfléchissent aux voies d’une nouvelle relation entre autochtones et non-autochtones, qu’ils soient juristes, décideurs ou universitaires. La reconnaissance des traditions juridiques autochtones est en effet devenue un thème central dans la quête d’une « réconciliation ». Les auteurs analysent des données recueillies par des équipes impliquant le plus souvent des collaborateurs ou des partenaires autochtones. Ils expliquent et comparent les aspects fondamentaux de plusieurs ordres juridiques autochtones et coutumiers afin d’éclairer leur spécificité, mais aussi leur degré d’ouverture au dialogue avec les cultures juridiques occidentales. En plus de mieux faire comprendre les modes de production du droit chez les peuples autochtones, cette publication permet au lecteur de découvrir comment ces peuples abordent le droit de la famille, le règlement des conflits et le rapport au territoire. 

Ghislain Otis est membre du Barreau du Québec et détient un Ph.D. de l’Université de Cambridge. Professeur à la section de droit civil de l’Université d’Ottawa, il est titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la diversité juridique et les peuples autochtones (niveau 1). Le professeur Otis est aussi membre de l’Académie des sciences sociales de la Société royale du Canada. Il dirige un grand partenariat international de recherche sur la gestion du pluralisme juridique en contexte autochtone (voir

190 pages.  24,00 €

Publisher’s website :

Book : Jessica Carlisle, Muslim Divorce in the Middle East: Contesting Divorce in the Contemporary Courts (2019)

Carlisle, J. Muslim Divorce in the Middle East: Contesting Divorce in the Contemporary Courts, Palgrave Pivot (Gender and Politics), 2019.

  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-77007-9 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-77007-9
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-77006-2

  How have Muslim marriages legally ended around the turn of the 21st century? Who has the power to initiate and resist shari‘a derived divorce? When are husbands and wives made to bear the costs of their marital breakdown? What does divorce law indicate about the development of gender regimes in the Middle East and North Africa? 

  This book opens with a description of the historical development of Islamic divorce in the MENA. Subsequent chapters follow a Syrian male judge, a Moroccan female legal advice worker and a Libyan female judge as they deal with divorce cases in which husbands, wives, their relatives and lawyers debate gender roles in contemporary Muslim marriages. 

  MENA ‘state feminism’ has increasingly equalized men’s and women’s access to divorce and encouraged discussions about how spouses should treat each other in marriage. The real life outcomes of these reforms have often been surprising. Moreover, as the last chapter explores, jihadi proto-states (such as Islamic State) have violently rejected state feminist divorce law reform. 

  This accessible book will appeal to students, researchers and a general readership interested in Islamic law; Middle Eastern studies; gender and sexuality; and, legal and social anthropology.

To purchase the book :

Book : Hunting Justice Displacement, Law, and Activism in the Kalahari

This book presents a long-term study of the activist campaign that contested the Botswana government’s much-publicized removal of the San and Bakgalagadi people from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Sapignoli’s multiple points of observation and analysis range from rural Botswana to the nation’s High Court, and a variety of United Nations agencies in their Headquarters, focusing on rights claimants and officials from NGOs, states and the United Nations as they acted on the grievances of those who had been displaced. In offering a comprehensive discussion of the San people and their claims-making through formal institutions, this book maintains a consistent focus on the increased recourse to law and the everyday experience of those who are asserting their rights in response to the encroachments of the state and the opportunities inherent in new indigenous advocacy networks.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Unsettling the central Kalahari
3. The ‘bushman problem’
4. Getting organized: the social lives of San NGOs
5. The San in the United Nations
6. The court
7. After judgment
8. Litigating for a way of life
9. Conclusions.


Maria Sapignoli is Research Fellow in the Department of Law and Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Since 2006 she has carried out ethnographic work in Botswana, most recently in Namibia, and in several international organizations, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters. She is the co-editor of Palaces of Hope: The Anthropology of the Global Organizations (Cambridge, 2017).

Book : Grenzen des Rechts

Marie-Claire Foblets, Dirk Hanschel, Armin Höland (eds.)

Halle (Saale): Universitätsverlag Halle-Wittenberg

Year of publication


Wie lassen sich die Grenzen des Rechts würdigen? Entstanden ist diese Veröffentlichung aus dem Lehrveranstaltungsformat eines „Gesellschaftswissenschaftlichen Kollegs“, das sich unter dem Titel „Die Grenzen des (staatlichen) Rechts“ über einen Zeitraum von zwei Jahren, genauer von 2015 bis 2017, erstreckte und von der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes organisiert wurde. Das Ziel besteht darin zu zeigen, wie bereichernd ein Ansatz sein kann, der sich nicht darauf beschränkt zu erkunden, wie das positive Recht bestimmte Situationen regelt, sondern für sich in Anspruch nimmt, möglichst genau die Grenzen des Rechts zu untersuchen und konkrete Fälle unzu­reichender rechtlicher Antworten auf indivi­duelle Situationen zu identifizieren.

Noch vor wenigen Jahren hätte ein Buch wie das vorliegende manches Erstaunen hervorrufen können. Mittlerweile jedoch sind die Grenzen des positiven Rechts immer offenkundiger geworden. Der Gedanke, ihnen besondere Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen, ist mit dieser Beob­achtung verbunden und dürfte daher nicht überraschen. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser und weiterer grundsätzlicher Überlegungen stellen sieben Studierende, die sich in der Schlussphase ihrer universitären Aus­bildung befinden und die sich für Grenzen des Rechts interessieren, dem Leser in diesem Band ihre Sichtweisen hierauf vor. Sie bieten sieben Ansätze, die – jeder auf seine Weise – in gehaltvolle Analysen des Rechts münden, die das Recht nicht als eine geschlossene Gesamtheit von Regeln, sondern als einen Prozess der Entwicklung, des Wandels und der Anpassung beschreiben, der in seinem jeweiligen Kontext zu würdigen ist und hier seine Kraft entfaltet.

Indem man akzeptiert, dass das positive Recht nicht für alle Situationen die ange­messene Lösung bereithält, lernt man auch zu akzeptieren, dass die Suche nach Gerechtigkeit damit nicht endet, sondern fortgesetzter Überprüfung und Bemühungen bedarf.

bOOK : John R. Campbell, Bureaucracy, Law and Dystopia in the United Kingdom’s Asylum System, ROUTLEDGE, 2017.


The central concern of this book is to find answers to fundamental questions about the British asylum system and how it operates.Based on ethnographic research over a two-
year period, the work follows and analyses numerous asylum appeals through the British courts. It draws on myriad interviews with individuals and a thorough examination of many state and non-state organizations to understand how the system works. While the
organization of the book reflects the formal asylum process, a focus on specific legal appeals reveals the ‘political’ factors at play as different institutions and actors seek to influence judicial decision-making and overturn/uphold official asylum policy. The final
chapter draws on the author’s ethnographic findings of the UK’s ‘asylum field’ to re-examine research on the Refugee Determination System in the US, Canada and Australia which has narrowly focused on judicial decision-making. It argues that analysis of Refugee Determination Systems must be situated and studied as part of a wider, political, semi-autonomous ‘asylum field’ which needs to be better understood. Providing an in-depth ethnographic study of a national asylum system and of immigration law and practice, the book will be an invaluable resource for academics, researchers and policy-makers in the UK and beyond working in this highly topical area.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Boxes
List of Cases
List of Case Law
Chapter 1. An anthropological approach to studying the asylum field
Chapter 2. The evolution of the British Asylum System
Chapter 3. The work of the British Home Office and UK Border Agency

Chapter 4. Taking and making refugee claims: The work of immigration caseworkers,
interpreters and barristers
Chapter 5. The Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and the work of Immigration Judges
Chapter 6. The politics of ‘permission’ and the Court of Appeal
Chapter 7. The Kafkaesque experience of asylum seekers
Chapter 8. Interest groups, asylum policy and Home Office intransigence
Conclusion and Postscript

Dr John R. Campbell is a Reader in the Anthropology of Africa and Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has undertaken fieldwork in Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the UK, and has undertaken development-related consultancies in Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana. In addition to teaching the anthropology of development and the ethnography of Eastern Africa, he teaches courses on legal anthropology. His most recent book is Nationalism, Law and Stateless: Grand Illusions in the Horn of Africa (Routledge, 2013).


‘Dr. Campbell’s important field study concerns the bureaucratic processing of asylum
applications from Ethiopians and Eritreans seeking asylum in the UK. While this excellent
work describes the pertinent formal law, its striking originality lies in its ethnographic
perspective. This includes detailed case studies of the peculiar workings of an overloaded,
under- prepared and understaffed government bureaucracy righteously turning down most
such applications.’
Professor Sally Falk Moore, Harvard University, USA

‘The processing of asylum claims largely takes place in conditions which exclude the voices
of the people whose future is being decided. This important book offers rich anthropological
insights into the operation of the refugee determination system and identifies the need for
continued vigilance about failures to protect vulnerable individuals.’
Professor Werner Menski, SOAS, University of London, UK

‘Dr. Campbell’s remarkable book provides deep insights into the UK asylum system and how
it limits who is determined to be a refugee. Findings and conclusions are premised onextensive interviews and analysis of cases in the British asylum system. It will become a
touchstone for future asylum system studies.’
Dr James C. Simeon, York University, Canada

Julie Coleman et Baudoin Dupret (ed.), Ethnographies du raisonnement juridique, Paris, LGDJ, 2018.

il est fréquent d’entendre qu’il existe une façon de raisonner qui est propre aux juristes. Parfois entendue positivement – au sens de la précision du raisonnement ou de ses termes – et parfois négativement – le goût de l’argutie, le caractère procédurier, l’excès de formalisme -, cette façon de raisonner est même tenue pour être la caractéristique principale du droit et de ses experts. Si donc l’on tient une forme de raisonnement pour spécifique au droit (ce qu’on peut appeler le juridisme), il reste à se demander de quoi elle est faite, au-delà des poncifs tenant à sa rigueur et à son formalisme. 

Cet ouvrage s’inscrit résolument dans une perspective ethnographique du raisonnement juridique qui se donne comme objectif de décrire comment ce dernier opère en situation. Ses contributions s’organisent selon trois axes. Le premier rassemble des textes qui traitent des catégorisations de sens commun et de leur lien étroit avec les catégorisations juridiques. Le second s’intéresse à l’établissement des faits de la cause. La dimension factuelle du raisonnement juridique est étroitement liée aux questions de preuves matérielles ou testimoniales. En filigrane apparaît la question de la vérité judiciaire qui émerge du jugement et se construit peu à peu à travers les différentes opérations matérielles et cognitives mises en oeuvre par les magistrats. Enfin, le troisième axe s’intéresse aux rapports entre droit et culture. 

La grande variété des ethnographies présentées dans cet ouvrage, variété qui doit autant aux dispositifs méthodologiques qu’aux terrains de recherche, permet d’appréhender le raisonnement juridique à travers ses divers accomplissements pratiques. S’appuyant tantôt sur les interactions observées lors d’audiences judiciaires, tantôt sur le processus décisionnel ou encore sur l’analyse documentaire et le compte-rendu du travail d’enrôlement des professionnels du droit autour d’un cas particulier, le raisonnement juridique se déploie au gré des cas problématiques qui sont soumis aux cours et tribunaux afin que soit dit le droit censé résoudre le problème et mettre fin au conflit. Toutes les contributions partagent une même attention accordée au processus de « mise en pertinence » des cas à résoudre. Elles révèlent la richesse de la démarche ethnographique qui, en étant au plus près des pratiques des professionnels et des experts du droit, éclaire des points jusque-là restés aveugles du raisonnement juridique. 

Ont participé à cet ouvrage : 
Luiza Felix de Souza Barçante 
Pedro Heitor Barros Geraldo 
Nadia Khrouz 
Julien Seroussi 
Caroline Simon 
Barbara Truffin 
Jean-marc Welller 
Ayang Utriza YaKIN

  • 1re édition
  • Volume 32 
  • Collectif
  • Editeur : L.G.D.J
  • Collection : Droit et société
  • Sous-collection : Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme
  • ISBN : 978-2-275-02928-3
  • 270 pages – Parution : 12/2018

Publisher’s website :