‘Turning Human Beings into Lawyers’

Why Anthropology Matters So Little to the Legal Curriculum

in Journal of Legal Anthropology
Insa Koch London School of Economics I.L.Koch@lse.ac.uk

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Does anthropology matter to law? At first sight, this question might seem redundant: of course, anthropology matters to law, and it does so a great deal. Anthropologists have made important contributions to legal debates. Legal anthropology is a thriving sub-discipline, encompassing an ever-increasing range of topics, from long-standing concerns with customary law and legal culture to areas that have historically been left to lawyers, including corporate law and financial regulation. Anthropology’s relevance to law is also reflected in the world of legal practice. Some anthropologists act as cultural experts in, while others have challenged the workings of, particular legal regimes, including with respect to immigration law and social welfare.

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