Archives par mot-clé : anthropologie du droit

conférence de Baudouin Dupret : « Le droit à proprement parler : avènement historique et pratiques contemporaines du droit positif, à partir de sa marge musulmane » (11 oct. 2019, Univ. de Bordeaux)

Université de Bordeaux
Faculté de droit et de science politique
Institut de recherche Montesquieu
Avenue Léon Duguit
Bâtiment recherche droit
Salle Manon Cormier
33608 PESSAC

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Colloque : Les peuples autochtones : quels droits ? quelle protection ? (24-25 mai, Aix-Marseille Université)


Les peuples autochtones : quels droits ? quelle protection ?

Du vendredi 24 mai 2019 au samedi 25 mai 2019


Un colloque sur un sujet très actuel mais qui n’attire malheureusement pas assez l’attention. Cet évènement a pour but de sensibiliser à la cause de la protection et de la reconnaissance pleines et entières des peuples autochtones et de leur patrimoine.

Nous mettons un point d’honneur sur la recherche d’intervenants de qualité et concernés par ces problématiques : ONG en contact direct avec les peuples, représentants d’autochtones, juristes, chercheurs spécialistes, etc.

Des temps d’échange seront organisés entre le public et les intervenants.

Se tiendra également une exposition de grands photographes professionnels dans le Hall principal de la Faculté de droit d’Aix-en-Provence, du lundi 20 mai au samedi 25 mai 2019.


Vendredi 24 mai 2019

13h30 : Accueil des participants et allocution de bienvenue

14h00 : Conférence introductive

Peuples autochtones et environnement : Écocide, biopiraterie, appropriation des expressions culturelles – Exemple du peuple Kanak en Nouvelle- Calédonie 
Mme. Subama Mapou, porte-parole IKAPALA et Comité Rhéébù Nùù

Reconnaissance et statut juridique des peuples autochtones 
Mr. Daniel Arboleda, doctorant AMU

15h30 : Pause

Table ronde n°1 – Droit à la terre

15h45 : Le droit de propriété des peuples autochtones 
Pr. Aurélie Laurent, université du Mans

Les menaces aux territoires – l’affaire Montagne d’Or 
Mme. Marine Calmet, représentante ONG Nature Rights

17h20 : Exposition et buffet

Discussions informelles entre les différents intervenants et le public autour d’un buffet et d’œuvres photographiques professionnelles

19h30 : Clôture

Samedi 25 mai 2019

9h00 : Accueil des participants / petit-déjeuner

Table ronde n°2 – l’importance des cultures autochtones

09h15 : Opportunités et contraintes du patrimoine culturel immatériel pour les cultures autochtones 
Pr. Laurent  Sébastien Fournier, Université AMU

La notion de “génocide culturel” – Le cas des residential schools au Canada 
Mme. Lorraine Dumont, doctorante AMU

10h45 : Pause

Table ronde n°3 – Les actions menées en faveur des peuples autochtones

11h00 : Les actions pour la préservation de la Culture – ACCB Bordeaux et les arrivants de Nouvelle- Calédonie 
Mme. Rachelle Hnawia, représentante Association ACCB

Protection des expressions culturelles, symboles et artisanat traditionnel 
Mme. Marine Calmet, représentante ONG Nature Rights

12h30 : Clôture et restauration

Accès gratuit, tout public

Faculté de droit et science politique
Amphithéâtre Favoreu
3 Avenue Robert Schuman
13100 Aix-en-Provence

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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. 

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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