Anthropology and international law

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Social and cultural anthropology, with its keen eye for the specificities of social life and cultural dynamics, has a lot to offer to the study of international law. A small but growing body of anthropological scholarship interrogates various aspects of the expansion of human rights discourse, the globalization of law, and international organizations. These studies offer an alternative perspective on international law, drawing on a rich tradition of ethnographic fieldwork in local social-cultural settings. The study of international law reflects a broadening of anthropologists’ scope. For a long time, anthropology had limited itself to the study of small-scale societies, but since the 1990s, anthropologists have entered the discussion about human rights and turned to the study of the international institutions and the effects of transnational legal processes. This turn has to be considered against the background of the long-running debate about the relationship between lawyers and anthropologists.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Bibliographies in International Law
EditorsAnthony Carty
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


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