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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since the nineteenth century anthropologists have been fascinated by law and legal practices in far-off cultures and lands. Legal anthropology, as a subfield of the discipline, has contributed enormously to contemporary sociolegal analyses of legal pluralism across the academy. Be that as it may, this chapter suggests that anthropology’s contribution is ultimately limited by the enduring analytical framing of legal pluralism within colonial/postcolonial contexts. Moreover, this analytical constraint prevents scholars from seeing other forms of legal pluralism of immense importance in analysing contemporary societies in which genealogies of colonialism and modernist units of analysis and assumptions of state power are not so evident or significant. The essay calls for anthropologists to think about legal pluralism in terms, and along lines of inquiry, that move beyond the discipline’s colonial legacies and conventional sites of research and to appreciate the global contexts in which all legal pluralism should be analysed.

Keywords: legal pluralism, postcolonialism, postnationalism, authoritarianism, racism, anthropology, Brexit

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