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Anthropology & Law



Not offered in the academic year 2016-17.

The language of ‘the law’ pervades a multiplicity of arenas, both local and global, implicating experience, personhood, and subjectivity.  The aim of this paper is to study the ways in which the law is used as a vehicle to structure relations, whether between states, between colonised and coloniser, or between special interest groups (as in the case of new technologies). The paper supports and extends debates explored in other Part II papers, particularly those that pertain to social theory and the anthropological study of morality. The relationship between law and morality, for example, raises questions about the influence of legal thinking on anthropological categories, such as ‘rules’ and ‘customs’.  The course explores what it means to study legal systems, and in doing so opens up questions about organising concepts (such as ‘rights’) of major contemporary importance.

Paper Resources


For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports please see the Anthropology and Law Moodle Course.

Please note teaching staff and students enrolled on Anthropology and Law will automatically be enrolled on the Moodle course and you will find a link in the ‘My Home’ section of Moodle.

If you are a member of the University of Cambridge and you wish to view the reading lists, past exam questions and exam reports then you can access the Anthropology and Law Moodle Course as a guest. For more information on how to access Moodle Courses as a guest please see Moodle Help.