ANTH 342(F) Dispute and Conflict, Settlement and Resolution: The Anthropology of Law*

How does a society define the moral life and by what means does it resolve the internal conflicts that inevitably arise? These questions are approached through a survey of the anthropology of law in the broad sense, as concerned not just with codified laws and formal institutions, but with all forms of dispute settlement and conflict resolution, including mediation and arbitration. Taking an ethnographic and cross-cultural perspective, we will examine the cultural construction of dispute, the nature of evidence, and the variety of processes by which disputes can be resolved. We will further examine the relationship between the scale of a community and its legal mechanisms, with particular attention to plural legal systems and the tension between customary and national law in modernizing nations. Ultimately we will try to come to grips with the question of justice: its definition and the means by which it may be achieved. Requirements: a midterm, a research paper, and class participation. No prerequisites. Expected enrollment: 15.

Hour: JUST