"Lawyers and Savages explores the rise and fall of legal primitivism, and its connection to the colonial encounter. Nineteenth century legal anthropology - and with it the idea of "primitive law" - was born out of the universalization of the Western legal tradition, and its understanding of history as a civilizing process. And this book demonstrates how this scholarship had a clear impact in legitimating the colonial experience. Through examples such as blood feuds, communalism, ordeals, ritual formalism and polygamy, the book traces the intellectual revolution of legal anthropology. In doing so, however - and beyond the conventional story from Maine to Malinowski - it introduces an American story: as the book details how legal realism drew on anthropology in order to help counter the hypothetical constructs of legal formalism. Finally, this book shows how, despite the explicit rejection, the central themes of primitive law continue to influence current ideas - about indigenous legal systems, but also of the place and role of law in development"-- Provided by publisher.
"A GlassHouse Book."
Formatted Contents Note
1. Introduction 2. Blood : law as culture 3. Sex : the fascination of primitive law 4. Magic : the realist revolution 5. The banality of pluralism 6. Conclusions.