07 October 2013

BOOKS: Political and Legal Transformations of an Indonesian Polity and Religion in Disputes

The Commission on Legal Pluralism has recently circulated the following:
1. Political and Legal Transformations of an Indonesian Polity: The Nagari from Colonisation to Decentralisation, by Franz von Benda-Beckmann and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Cambridge University Press.
Political and Legal Transformations of an Indonesian Polity is a long-term study of the historical transformations of the Minangkabau polity of nagari, property relations and the ever-changing dynamic relationships between Minangkabau matrilineal adat law, Islamic law and state law. While the focus is on the period since the fall of President Suharto in 1998, the book charts a long history of political and legal transformations before and after Indonesia's independence, in which the continuities are as notable as the changes. It also throws light on the transnational processes through which legal and political ideas spread and acquire new meanings. The multi-temporal historical approach adopted is also relevant to the more general discussions of the relationship between anthropology and history, the creation of customary law, identity construction, and the anthropology of colonialism.

More information: www.cambridge.org/9781107038592.

Religion in Disputes: Pervasiveness of Religious Normativity in Disputing Processes, by Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Martin Ramstedt, and Bertram Turner (eds.), Palgrave McMillan.

Religion manifests itself in an array of disputes in different geographical context. Here, the contributors examine such questions through case studies from Europe, the United States, Israel, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. The conficts range from those involving religious authorities to disputes in non-religious contexts in which actors invoke religious rhethoric and repertoires in settings that at first sight have nothing to do with classical disputing processes. The analyses are grounded in extensive ethnographical and historiographical research and show how different dimensions of the religious may enter into, transform, affect and be affected by the course an outcome of dispute processes at different moments of their unfolding.

More information: www.palgrave.com.

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