Professor of Anthropology, Jack G. Clarke Professor of Far East Legal Studies, Director, Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, 1996
J.D. Harvard Law School, 1993
Research Interests: Anthropology of the State, Institutional Knowledge Practices, Legal Elites, Anthropology of Finance, Property regimes, Non-Governmental Organizations, Social Movements, International Institutions, Epistemological Issues in Anthropology and the Anthropology of Epistemology; Aesthetics; Relationship between Theory and Ethnography; Ethnography of Formalism and Pragmatism, Fiji, Japan, China, the United States.
As an anthropologist, I am attracted by those subjects that seem most resistant to ethnographic study and committed to anthropology's unique contribution to contemporary legal, political and epistemological debates. Ethnographic subjects that interest me include bureaucracies and institutions, law, markets, theories (from law to economics, science and gender) and modern knowledges of all kinds. This interest emerges for me out of my engagement with the remarkable contributions of feminist anthropology, the anthropology of science, and Melanesian anthropology to the anthropology of the contemporary. My first book, The Network Inside Out, concerned knowledge practices among UN bureaucrats and NGO activists working on "gender issues" in the Pacific. There, the problem was a set of practices (networking, debating the nature of a "gender perspective") that overlapped with anthropology's own methods of analysis. A more recent edited collection, Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge, concerned how to bring documents and documentary practices into view as ethnographic subjects, and what these subjects might tell us about the state of anthropological theory and its engagement with kindred disciplines at this moment. After my ethnographic work in Fiji, I conducted two years of fieldwork among financial regulators and lawyers in Japan and expect to return for further fieldwork in the near future. A first book to come out of that project, due for completion this year, is an ethnographic rendition of legal theory. For more about my views on the anthropology of law, see a short essay recently published in the Anthropology Newsletter and posted at http://www.aaanet.org/apla/fromf2.htm.
- Cultural Conflicts. In Law and Anthropology (Michael Freeman and David Napier, eds., forthcoming September 2009).
- Legal Fictions (forthcoming, Current Anthropology).
- Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reason in the Global Financial Markets (forthcoming);
- “Documenting Ethics, Papering Consent: The New Bureaucracies of Virtue”, Special issue of Political and Legal Anthropology Review 30: 3.
- Is the Law Hopeful? Forthcoming in Hope in the Economy (Hirokazu Miyazaki and Richard Swedberg, eds.).
- “The Anti-Network: Private Global Governance, Legal Knowledge, and the Legitimacy of the State.” 56 American Journal of Comparative Law 3, 605-630.
- “Cultural Conflicts”, In Transdisciplinary Conflict of Laws, 71 Law and Contemporary Problems 3, 273-308.
- And Never the Twain Shall Meet? An Exchange on the Strengths and Weaknesses of Anthropology and Economics in Analyzing the Commons (with Ravi Kanbur). In The Contested Commons:
- Conversations Between Economists and Anthropologists. (Pranab Bardhan and Isha Ray, eds.) Blackwell Publishing 266-279.
- Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Anthropology, Human Rights, and Legal Knowledge: Culture in the Iron Cage. American Anthropologist vol. 108 No. 1.
- Wigmore's Shadow. Triquarterly Magazine (Spring 2006).
- Casting Off, and Reclaiming the Weberian Tradition: Comparative Law and Socio-Legal Studies. Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann, eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- "Failure as an Endpoint" (co-authored with Annelise Riles). In Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier, eds. Pp. 320-331. Malden, M.A.
- Introducing Discipline: Anthropology and Human Rights Administrations (with Iris Jean-Klein). Political and Legal Anthropology Review vol. 28 no. 2 pp. 173-202.
- Anthropology and Human Rights Administrations: Expert Observation and Representation After the Fact. (with Iris Jean-Klein) Special issue of Political and Legal Anthropology Review 28: 2.
- Real Time: Governing the Market After the Failure of Knowledge.31(3) American Ethnologist 1-14 (2004).
- Property as Legal Knowledge: Means and Ends. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (December 2004).
- The Means of Law (book manuscript, in progress).
- The New Formalism (book manuscript, in progress).
- “[Deadlines]”, in Annelise Riles, ed. Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge Special Issue of Political and Legal Anthropology Review.
- Law as Object. In Law and Empire in the Pacific: Fiji and Hawaii. (Sally Merry and Donald Brenneis, eds.) Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research Press, 187-212 (2004).
- “Ethnography in the Realm of the Pragmatic: Studying Pragmatism in Law and Politics,” Special issue of Political and Legal Anthropology Review 26:
- The Virtual Sociality of Rights: The Case of "Women's Rights are Human Rights," in Transnational Legal Process, Michael Likosky, ed., Blackwell Press (2002).
- Rethinking the Masters of Comparative Law (Hart Publishing, 2001).
- The Network Inside Out (University of Michigan Press, 2000).
- "Infinity Within the Brackets," 25 American Ethnologist 3:378-398 (August 1998).
- "Division Within the Boundaries," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 3:409-424 (September 1998).