Legal Anthropology: An Introduction

Front Cover
Rowman Altamira, 2008 - Law - 265 pages

Legal Anthropology: An Introduction offers an initial overview of the challenging debates surrounding the cross-cultural analysis of legal systems. Equal parts review and criticism, James M. Donovan outlines the historical landmarks in the development of the discipline, identifying both strengths and weaknesses of each stage and contribution. Legal Anthropology suggests that future progress can be made by looking at the perceived fairness of social regulation, rather than sanction or dispute resolution as the distinguishing feature of law.

 

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Contents

Philosophical Starting Points
3
Studying Law in the Field
16
Forerunners
27
Natural Law Description and Reactions
29
Sociology of Law
46
Ethnographic Foundations
57
The Classic Period
59
Malinowski and ReciprocityBased Law
69
OBarr and Conley and Studying Up
148
Highlights of Comparative Anthropology
159
CrossCultural Comparison
161
Dispute Resolution
175
Legal Pluralism
186
Issues in Applied Legal Anthropology
195
Human Rights
197
Intellectual Property Rights
209

Schapera and Codification of Indigenous Law
79
Hoebel and the Rise of Legal Realism
88
Gluckman and Identification of Legal Universals
100
Bohannan and Relativism
112
Pospisil and Differentiating the Institutions of Social Regulation
123
Postclassic Ethnography
133
Nader and Processualism
135
The Culture Defense
216
Terrorism
231
Conclusions
241
A FairnessCentered Legal Anthropology
243
Overview and Prospects
255
Index
259
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

James M. Donovan assumed his role as Director of the University of Kentucky College
of Law Alvin E. Evans Law Library in December 2010. In that capacity he oversees all
aspects of library operations, including managing the Library’s daily activities,
strategic planning, collection development, while leading a staff of ten to twelve
library faculty and support staff. He is responsible for administration of the budget and
ensuring that resources are used to support the College’s research, teaching, and service
missions. As Associate Professor of Law, Donovan teaches advanced legal research and
continues his research into the substantive area of legal anthropology.

Before coming to UKY, Donovan was a member of the library team at the University of
Georgia School of Law Library, where he was Faculty and Access Services Librarian, and at
the Tulane University Law School as its Head of Access Services.

He has held an adjunct appointment to the UGA Department of Anthropology, for which he
taught legal anthropology. Published books include LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION
(AltaMira Press, 2008), and ANTHROPOLOGY & LAW (Berghahn, 2003). He also served as
editor-in-chief of the AALL publication SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND THE LAW: A RESEARCH
BIBLIOGRAPHY (2006). Additional work in the areas of sexual orientation law, religion and
the law, and law as a species of regulatory social norm has appeared in a number of law
reviews and peer-reviewed journals, and complement his ongoing researches in library
topics such as the role of digital institutional repositories in law schools, and the
future direction of the library as a social institution within this age of Google.

A holder of five degrees, Donovan received his first, a Bachelor of Arts with majors in
Greek/Latin and Humanities, in 1981 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He
earned both his Master in Library Information Science and a Master of Arts in philosophy
from Louisiana State University. At Tulane, he obtained a Ph.D. in anthropology with
specialization in psychological anthropology. Finally, in the spring of 2003, Donovan
graduated magna cum laude from Loyola New Orleans with a Juris Doctor.

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