Contact

Bertram Turner
Bertram Turner
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +49 (0) 345 29 27 311

Bertram Turner

Dealing with Transgression, Security, Conflict, and Ordering

This research project combines the management of crime and deviance, the transformation of conflict, and technologies of ordering as they are embedded in larger contexts of normative plurality.

The point of departure is local ways of dealing with social transgression in rural Morocco, be it behaviour that is considered to contravene local notions of order or acts that are formally classified in legal terms as deviant or criminal acts. There may be different readings of behaviour at the local scale depending on various normative frames of reference that may come into play, which can involve different techniques of truth finding, concepts of ‘proof’, and regulation of conflict. Behaviour that can be qualified as punishable and which therefore should be prosecuted according to criminal law might be acceptable or even preferable according to local standards of right and wrong; in other words, the notions of ‘wrong’ and ‘crime’ are not necessarily coterminous. In Bert Turner’s work, therefore, the term ‘transgression’ refers to behaviour that is perceived by locals as wrong according to local parameters and in view of the specific circumstances of the case. Classifying a wrong as a ‘crime’, on the other hand, is a legal procedure that formal governments and judiciaries produce in a political process.

At the other end of the spectrum, at the transnational scale, security and technologies of ordering are a core concern of institutions of global governance. Security requirements find expression in the production of normative templates that address a variety of issues ranging from public safety and protection against threats to any given domain relevant to human security.

The politics of securitization and ordering is increasingly dominated by global governance institutions such as the United Nations (with its numerous sub-organizations), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. They set up legal frameworks of security for various domains of human life and thus redefine the conditions of people’s legal agency. The governance of conflict and violence (crime prevention, gated communities, urban security, anti-terrorism legislation, and laws on torture, war, war crimes, and mass atrocities) and normative scripts for all kinds of post-conflict scenarios constitute one of the major fields involved. In this context, control over the flow of information and informational politics also play a decisive role. In addition, health, food and resource security, economy, and finance are domains in which transnational normative securitization has become increasingly salient.

Proceeding from the assumption that there is a coherent logic behind this wide range of normative operations, this research investigates the means and ends of such politics of securitization and how they affect complex plural legal configurations on various scales. How are such transnational templates of security law translated into local settings as depicted above? Who is in a position to claim the responsibility for the establishment of the transnational legal architecture of security and order? Who are the actors and who the beneficiaries? Whose security is secured and who profits from the politics of securitization? For instance, to what extent do such processes either run counter to or become integrated into rights-based approaches and politics of human rights? In this context technologies of truth-making and the translation of evidentiary practices take centre stage.

This research focus is related to the International Max Planck Research School ‘Retaliation Mediation Punishment (IMPRS REMEP)’. Bert Turner was the local coordinator of the IMPRS REMEP from its foundation in January 2008 through the end of 2013, and is currently a member of the REMEP faculty on behalf of the Law & Anthropology Department. He has made significant contributions to the development of the first REMEP research programme. In June 2012, the research agenda was revised in the light of the results and advancements reached during the first four years of research cooperation. Bert Turner was responsible for the design of this subsequent programme (2014–2019), which has a special emphasis on ‘human security’. The extended version, for which he assumes full responsibility, is posted here: Research Agenda on Human Security.


Publications

2017 Dialectics of Non-power and Marginality in Mediation: Institutional Diversification and Multiple Identities of Mediators. Politika: Projet Médiation-conciliation. https://www.politika.io/en/notice/dialectics-of-nonpower-and-marginality-in-mediation-institutional-diversification-and

2017 ‘Translating evidentiary practices and technologies of truth finding: oath taking as witness testimony in plural legal configurations in Morocco’, in: Ben Hounet, Yazd and Puccio-Den, Deborah (eds.) Truth, Intentionality and Evidence. Anthropological Approaches to Crime, Abingdon: Routledge: 112-129.

2017 Turner, Bertram and Schlee, Günther (eds.) On Retaliation. Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition, New York/Oxford: Berghahn.

2017 ‘Conclusion: Retaliation in Specific Spheres of Effectiveness’, in: Turner, Bertram and Schlee, Günther (eds.) On Retaliation. Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition, New York/Oxford: Berghahn, 283-305.

2017 ‘Introduction On Retaliation: Conceptual Plurality, Transdisciplinary Research, Rifts, Blurrings and Translations’, in: Turner, Bertram and Schlee, Günther (eds.) On Retaliation. Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition, New York/Oxford: Berghahn, 1-25.

2016 ‘Technologies of truth finding: provision of evidence in local dealings with crime and deviance in rural Morocco’, Cahiers d’anthropologie sociale 13: 60-77.

2014 ‘International Max Planck Research School “Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment” (IMPRS-REMEP)’, in: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (ed.): Report 2012-2013 Halle/Saale: IMPRESS, 115-122.

2012 ‘International Max Planck Research School “Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment” (IMPRS-REMEP)’, in: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (ed.): Report 2010–2011, Halle/Saale: IMPRESS, 109-116.

2012 ‘IMPRS REMEP – Local Perspective Halle’, in: Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (ed.): International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment 2008 – 2011; Speaker’s Report, Freiburg: Stückle, 10–11.

2010 ‘International Max Planck Research School “Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment” (IMPRS-REMEP)’, in: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (ed.): Report 2008–2009, vol. I, Halle/Saale: IMPRESS, 110–111.

2008 ‘International Max Planck Research School “Retaliation Mediation Punishment” (IMPRS REMEP)’, in: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (ed.): Report 2006–2007, Halle/Saale: dmv, 121–122.

2008 ‘Schlussbetrachtung’, in: Günther Schlee and Turner, Bertram (eds.): Vergeltung. Eine interdisziplinäre Betrachtung der Rechtfertigung und Regulation von Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus, 181–185.

2008 ‘Recht auf Vergeltung? Soziale Konfigurationen und die prägende Kraft der Gewaltoption’, in: Günther Schlee and Turner, Bertram (eds.): Vergeltung. Eine interdisziplinäre Betrachtung der Rechtfertigung und Regulation von Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus, 69–103.

2008 (with Günther Schlee). ‘Rache, Wiedergutmachung und Strafe: Ein Überblick’, in: Vergeltung. Eine interdisziplinäre Betrachtung der Rechtfertigung und Regulation von Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus, 49–67.

2008 (with Günther Schlee). ‘Einleitung: Wirkungskontexte des Vergeltungsprinzips in der Konfliktregulierung’, in: Vergeltung. Eine interdisziplinäre Betrachtung der Rechtfertigung und Regulation von Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus, 7–47.

2008 (with Günther Schlee) (eds.). Vergeltung. Eine interdisziplinäre Betrachtung der Rechtfertigung und Regulation von Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus.

2007 ‘International Max Planck Research School “Retaliation Mediation Punishment” (IMPRS REMEP)’, in: MPIeF Abteilung I Integration und Konflikt Bericht 2007, 161-164.

2005 Asyl und Konflikt. Von der Antike bis heute. Rechtsethnologische Untersuchungen. Berlin: Reimer Verlag (602 pp.).

 
loading content
Go to Editor View