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Centre of African Studies: Events


Legal anthropology in Europe at a crossroads

Legal anthropology in Europe at a crossroads
Hosted by: Dr Gerhard Anders # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
22nd Jan 2016 09:00 - 22nd Jan 2016 17:00
Practice Suite, 1st floor, 15A George Square.

Network Anthropology of Law and Rights, workshop at the University of Edinburgh, 22 January 2016

The workshop features presentations that examine the state of legal anthropology in Europe. Due to the rise of the anthropology of human rights and a growing interest in governance in the context of the nation-state and beyond there has been a welcome shift to legal matters within anthropology as a whole. In political anthropology the state and governance have emerged as major research interests. In general, there is a growing number of anthropological studies of bureaucracies, national courts, international tribunals, truth commissions and other sites.

What does this shift towards legal matters, defined most broadly to include forms of non-state normative orders, mean for anthropologists who see themselves primarily as legal anthropologists? What is the significance of this 'welcome, exciting renaissance' (John Comaroff, 2006) for social anthropology in Europe and beyond? These will be among the questions the workshop will address by drawing on ethnographic studies of law, rights and social order.


9:15 – 9:45: Registration and coffee

9:45 – 10:00: Introduction by Gerhard Anders (University of Edinburgh)

10:00 – 12:00: Panel 1 

Chair: Andy Aitchison (University of Edinburgh)

Miia Halme Tuomisaari (University of Helsinki)

‘Law as a state of mind: Vignettes from the UN Human Rights Committee’.

Ukri Soirila (University of Helsinki)

‘Legitimacy and Life: Humanity discourse in global law and policy’.

Julie Billaud (Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology)

‘UPR as entry into international governance and audit culture’.

Luis Eslava (Kent Law School)

‘Toward the international law of the everyday’.

Discussant: Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

12:00 – 12:45: Lunch break

12:45 – 14:00: Panel 2: 

Chair: Anne Griffiths (University of Edinburgh)

Reetta Toivanen (University of Helsinki)

‘On the meaning and consequences of ‘translating’ universal human rights standards: Case studies in the Arctic’.

Astrid Jamar (University of Edinburgh)

‘Everyday in Aidland for transitional justice and human rights practitioners: Quotidian relations and structural contradictions’.

José Maria Munoz (University of Edinburgh)

‘Anthropology and soft law’.

Coffee break: 14:00 – 14:15

14:15 – 15:30: Panel 3:

Chair: Gerhard Anders (University of Edinburgh)

Andrea Pia (London School of Economics)

‘The politics of legal fixes: What is to be learned from China’s attempt to silence dissent through law?’.

Nathan Thomas Coben (University of California – Irvine)

‘Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims: Jurisdictions, borders, and boundaries in Ireland’.

Karen T. Hough (Oxford Brookes University)

‘After the boat: Legal anthropology and the Mediterranean migration crisis’.

15:30 – 16:00 Concluding remarks by Toby Kelly (University of Edinburgh)

Edinburgh Students