Mirrors of Justice: Law and Power in the Post-Cold War Era

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"Mirrors of Justice is a groundbreaking study of the meanings of and possibilities for justice in the contemporary world. The book brings together a group of both prominent and emerging scholars to reconsider the relationships between justice, international law, culture, power, and history through case studies of a wide range of justice processes. The book's eighteen authors examine the ambiguities of justice in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Melanesia through critical empirical and historical chapters. The introduction makes an important contribution to our understanding of the multiplicity of justice in the twenty-first century by providing an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that synthesizes the book's chapters with leading-edge literatures on human rights, legal pluralism, and international law"--Provided by publisher.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Mirrors of Justice contributes novel starting points and insights to thinking about the interrelationship of international law, new forms of legal pluralism, and the shifting and highly contextualized understandings of justice that permeate international and transnational legal arenas. The contributing authors provide ethnographic accounts that underscore how variously the notion of justice works, and with what limits, in international institutions as well as in collective discourses of commemoration and political struggle. This wide-ranging volume poses provocative questions for scholars in anthropology and the wider law and society field.”
—Carol Greenhouse , Department of Anthropology, Princeton University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521195379
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2009
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kamari Maxine Clarke is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University and Senior Research Scientist at the Yale Law School. She is the author of Fictions of Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Mapping Yoruba Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities. She is co-editor of Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Politics of Blackness. Clarke has researched transnational religious movements in the United States and West Africa, international human rights and rule of law movements, and, over the past decade, the cultural politics of power and justice in the burgeoning realm of international tribunals.

Mark Goodale is Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Anthropology at George Mason University and Series Editor of Stanford Studies in Human Rights. He is the author of Surrendering to Utopia: An Anthropology of Human Rights and Dilemmas of Modernity: Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism, editor of Human Rights: An Anthropological Reader, and co-editor of The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law Between the Global and the Local and Practicing Ethnography in Law: New Dialogues, Enduring Practices. He is currently writing a book on revolution and the moral imagination in contemporary Bolivia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Understanding the multiplicity of justice Mark Goodale and Kamari Maxine Clarke; 1. Beyond compliance: toward an anthropological understanding of international justice Sally Engle Merry; Part I. Justice and the Geographies of International Law: 2. Postcolonial denial: why the European Court of Human Rights finds it so difficult to acknowledge racism Marie-Bénédicte Dembour; 3. Proleptic justice: the threat of investigation as a deterrent to human rights abuses in Côte d'Ivoire Michael McGovern; 4. Global governmentality: the case of transnational adoption Signe Howell; 5. Implementing the International Criminal Court Treaty in Africa: the role of NGOs and government agencies in constitutional reform Benson Chinedu Olugbuo; 6. Measuring justice: internal conflict over the World Bank's empirical approach to human rights Galit A. Sarfaty; Part II. Justice, Power, and Narratives of Everyday Life: 7. The victim deserving of global justice: power, caution, and recovering individuals Susan F. Hirsch; 8. Recognition, reciprocity, and justice: Melanesian reflections on the rights of relationships Joel Robbins; 9. Irreconcilable differences? Shari'ah, human rights, and family code reform in contemporary Morocco Amy Elizabeth Young; 10. The production of 'forgiveness': God, justice, and state failure in postwar Sierra Leone Rosalind Shaw; Part III. Justice, Memory, and the Politics of History: 11. Impunity and paranoia: writing histories of Indonesian violence Elizabeth Drexler; 12. National security, WMD, and the selective pursuit of justice at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, 1946–8 Jeanne Guillemin; 13. Justice and the League of Nations minority regime Jane K. Cowan; 14. Commissioning truth, constructing silences: the Peruvian TRC and the other truths of 'terrorists' Lisa J. Laplante and Kimberly Theidon; Epilogue. The words we use: justice, human rights, and the sense of injustice Laura Nader.

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