Accepted paper:

Dealing with dual consequences of legal pluralism: cases from Indonesia and Japan

Author:

Sayaka Takano (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)

Paper short abstract:

Legal pluralism is often assumed to be an unquestionable premise that ensures the dialogue between law and anthropology. However the same term could also cause puzzlement and confusion. This paper examines these dual consequences of legal pluralism by comparing cases from Indonesia and Japan.

Paper long abstract:

In legal anthropology, legal pluralism is often assumed to be an unquestionable premise that ensures the dialogue between law and anthropology. At the same time, however, it could lead to puzzlement and even bring the conversation to an end. Similar to the term "cultural relativism", legal pluralism is a widely-accepted concept. In discussions between anthropologists and law scholars, it often works as an unquestionable premise. However, in some occasions I have encountered the same words leads to puzzlement among them and even bring their exchange to an end. What causes such a contradictory effect? Comparing two cases from different geographical settings, this paper examines these dual consequences of legal pluralism. First example is from academic discourses concerning law in Indonesia, where the concept legal pluralism is commonly employed. In this context legal pluralism never generate a controversy, since it appears as undisputable description of Indonesian society. The other is a research project we had conducted in Japan, collaborative work of a small group consisting of anthropologists and legal scientists. Here the idea stirred up some unexpected arguments between them and consequently makes explicit the difference of expectations for their counterparts. Through these examples this paper aims to sketch the contour of the problem legal anthropology is confronted with.

panel P101
The future of law and globalization with anthropologies