Rules of Law and Laws of Ruling. On the governance of law

Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Julia Eckert (eds.)

Farnham: Ashgate

Year of publication



Offering an anthropological perspective on governance, Rules of Law and Laws of Ruling explores the changing relations between law and governance and examines how changes in the structure of governance affect the relative social significance of law within situations of legal pluralism. The authors – including many of the leading scholars in the anthropology of law – argue that there has been a re-regulation rather than a de-regulation, propagated by a plurality of regulative authorities. This re-regulation is accompanied by an increasing ideological dominance of rights talk and juridification of conflict. Drawing on insights into such processes, this volume explores the extent to which law is used both as a constitutive legitimation of governance and as the medium through which governance processes take place. The contributions presented here highlight some of the paradoxes and the unintended consequences of these regulating processes and the ensuing dynamics. As such, Rules of Law and Laws of Ruling will be a valuable resource for researchers and students working in the areas of legal anthropology and governance.

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