The Contribution of Anthropology to Teaching Comparative and International Law

The Trials and Triumphs of Teaching Legal Anthropology (eds. Foblets, Woodman and Bradney) (Ashgate, 2015)

Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 15-4

11 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015  

Francis Snyder

Peking University School of Transnational Law; CERIC, Aix-Marseille University; College of Europe, Bruges; Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry

Date Written: September 5, 2015

Abstract

Anthropology has a distinct and essential role to play in teaching comparative and international law. This argument underlies the present paper, which is based mainly on teaching law to undergraduates and postgraduates in several European countries but also draws on my experience in other countries, notably China. Through a series of examples, I also hope to demonstrate that anthropology should never be parochial. Here I use the term ‘parochial’ in three senses: first, being limited in its empirical foundations to particular countries or parts of the world; second, being understood to be relevant only to domestic law, whether national law or European Union (EU) law, and not to comparative and international law; and third in the sense that teachers of law or anthropology in Europe have nothing to learn from their colleagues in other countries. The paper suggests that we need to reject parochialism in these three senses. Anthropology is par excellence a widely shared discipline.

Keywords: anthropology, legal anthropology, comparative law, international law, Africa, EU law, WTO law, China

JEL Classification: F13, K10, K32, K33, N45, N57, Q15

Suggested Citation

Snyder, Francis, The Contribution of Anthropology to Teaching Comparative and International Law (September 5, 2015). The Trials and Triumphs of Teaching Legal Anthropology (eds. Foblets, Woodman and Bradney) (Ashgate, 2015); Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 15-4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2656554 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2656554

Francis Snyder (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

University Town,
Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

CERIC, Aix-Marseille University

Faculté de Droit et de SP., 3 av. Robert Schuman
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, 13628
France

College of Europe, Bruges

Dijver 11
B-8000 Brugge, Oost Vlanderen 10000
Belgium

Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry ( email )

3 Taicheng Road
Yangling, Xianyang, Shaanxi 71200
China

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