The anthropology of law is a key subfield within anthropology. Over the past twenty-five years, anthropologists have studied and analyzed the ways in which new forms of law – such as human rights – have reshaped important questions of citizenship, indigenous movements, and, biotechnology, among many others. Meanwhile, the rise of international law and processes of transnational justice have posed ... [Show full abstract] new ethical and intellectual challenges to anthropologists, revealing the need for a comprehensive overview of the field.
Anthropology and Law offers a broad analysis of the ways in which anthropologists have studied, interacted with, and critiqued the law—as systems of enforceable rules, ethical norms, frameworks for political action, and categories of identity. Mark Goodale introduces central problems in the anthropology of law, traces the development of the field, and builds on the legacy of its intellectual history. The book explores the new overlap of law, politics, and technology and surveys the contributions that anthropologists have made to our understanding of them.
Chapters cover a range of intersecting areas that reflect the dynamism in the contemporary anthropology of law, including language and law, history, justice, regulation, indigenous rights, and gender. The volume concludes by examining the ultimate limits of law in the face of existing global economic and social conflicts, considering what it would mean to develop an ecological approach to law based in new forms of solidarity and pluralism.