Law and society, law and politics, sociology of law, legal anthropology, ethnographic methods, migration studies, cultural minorities, ethnicity and law, human rights, legal mobilization
Europe; Germany, Turkey
Kadir Eryilmaz joined the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology as a PhD candidate in 2018. He holds an LLM in Sociology of Law from Ankara University. His LLM thesis focused on the ‘hate speech’ ban in the Turkish Penal Code and its relationship with freedom of speech in Turkey. In the thesis he employs socio-legal methodology to question the regulation’s actual implementation. Before joining the MPI, Eryılmaz worked as a research assistant in the Department of Sociology of Law at Istanbul Bilgi University. He was responsible for teaching a course in Philosophy of Law as well as co-teaching a number of other courses, including Sociology of Law, Law and Politics, Criminology, and Law and Society. His current doctoral research project examines how legally persecuted minority groups use and perceive law and judicial means. He focuses on the legal mobilization efforts of the Assyrian/Syriac community, which is a predominantly Christian Orthodox religious/ethnic minority group originating in south-eastern Turkey. More specifically, the primary concern of his research is to understand the relationship between the ethnic minority’s self-representations in various conflicts and the impact these representations have on their identity discourses. In order to answer this, Eryılmaz will conduct multi-sited ethnographic research in both Turkey and in countries where large Assyrian/Syriac diaspora communities have formed, such as Germany and Sweden.
Why Law and Anthropology?
I believe that the collaboration between the disciplines of law and anthropology opens the way to a more enlightened approach than the standard, normative analysis of the law to the problems faced by the diverse and multicultural societies in which we live. The combination of the disciplines offers more comprehensive methods for answering questions regarding the experiences, perceptions, and practices of legal actors, and can therefore reach beyond the analysis of legal rules. The ethnographic method and expertise provided by anthropological scholarship contributes to the understanding of such legal phenomena as rituals, discourses, and values. I therefore believe that, thanks to its interdisciplinary vocabulary and mix of methods, this combination of disciplines has a great deal to offer theory building as well as policy-making. In this context, I consider this collaboration an opportunity to challenge what we know about the judicial field and to develop scientific legal knowledge based on analysis driven by empirical data.