Law & Politics

For those with interests in law and politics, anthropology provides an understanding of the origins and nature of governance as well as how the problem of order has been treated across cultures from prehistory to the present. A key question animating this approach is how societies have developed systems of rules and conflict resolution processes to conciliate the tension between collective and individual needs, desires, and rights. More broadly, anthropology asks how peoples across the globe constitute the political.  The Law & Politics pathway gives students an excellent grounding for pursuing law as a career, be it in academia or in professional practice, as it enhances one’s understanding of the law’s sociocultural grounding and the complexities inherent in regulating human behavior.

This pathway through the major could include these courses:

Sociocultural requirement:

  • Anthr 1400 The Comparison of Cultures OR
  • Anthr 2433 Anthropology of Law and Politics

Archaeological requirement:

  • Anthr 2015 Archaeology of Empires OR
  • Anthr 2430 The Rise and Fall of Civilization

Biological requirement:

  • Anthr 1300 Human Evolution: Genes, Behavior, and the Fossil Record OR
  • Anthr 2310 The Natural History of Chimpanzees and the Origins of Politics
  • Anthr 3000 Introduction to Anthropological Theory;

2 of the following 3000-level courses:

  • Anthr 3232 Politics of the Past;
  • Anthr 3428 Conflict, Dispute Resolution, and Law in Cultural Context;
  • Anthr 3520 Kings and States in Ancient Asia;
  • Anthr 3620 A Global Controversy: How to Study a Human Rights Violation;
  • Anthr 3762 Law, Latina/o, Illegality

2 of the following 4000-level courses:

  • Anthr 4071 Through the Prison Threshold;
  • Anthr 4120 Archaeology of Orientalism;
  • Anthr 4270 Political Economy in Archaeology;
  • Anthr 4439 Sovereignty and Biopolitics;
  • Anthr 4453 Political Anthropology;
  • Anthr 4462 Politics Beyond the State: Activism, Advocacy, and NGOs;
  • Anthr 4673 Body/Politics/Africa;
  • Anthr 4725 American Indian Lands and Sovereignties
  • Anthr 4732 The New Latin American State;

8 credits of electives that could include any of the 3000/4000-level courses above or

  • Anthr 2420 Nature/Culture: The Politics of Human-Environment Relations;
  • Anthr 2920 Drugs and Social Justice;
  • Anthr 3408 Global Christianity and Politics;
  • Anthr 3422 Culture, Politics, and Environment in the Circumpolar North;
  • Anthr 3516 Power, Society, and Culture in Southeast Asia;
  • Anthr 4513 Religion and Politics in Southeast Asia
old painting showing law