Reflective Conversation: Revisiting and Revitalizing Ethnographies of Legislatures

Emergent Conversation 14

Edited by Neil Nory Kaplan-Kelly

Legislators (bottom in blue shirts) from Taiwans main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) display placards that read ‘invalid vote’ as they protest against Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s nomination of Chen Chu, former secretary general of the President Office, for the chairwoman of the Control Yuan, the country’s watchdog body of other branches of government, during voting at the parliament in Taipei on July 17, 2020. Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of PoLAR‘s  publication of Ilana Gershon’s “Critical Review Essay: Studying Cultural Pluralism in Courts versus Legislatures.” This essay serves as a foundation for this conversation about anthropology’s interventions into legislative studies more broadly. Gershon’s argument that anything and anyone can be cultural in a legislative setting is pivotal for any discussion of how politics and democracy become governance and laws. Thus, this series celebrates Gershon’s contribution and creates a reflective moment for our field. The contributions in this series each build on Gershon’s ideas.

Introduction

Neil Nory Kaplan-Kelly

 

 

Representation as Remediation in Courts and Legislatures

Francis Cody

 

Reluctant Anthropologists: Revealing but Rare Insights into Legislatures

Emma Crewe

 

“The Agonism at the Heart of a Law”: Engaging with Ilana Gerson while Researching Legislative Drafters

Emily Grabham

 

 

Moving Beyond Institutional Differences: Towards a Critical Anthropology of Law Beyond the Doctrine of Separation of Powers

Insa Koch

 

Legislative Anthropology: Precedent Explains Past Indifference, Offers Future Research Pathways

William Schumann

 

Response to Contributors

Ilana Gershon

 

 

Conclusion

Neil Nory Kaplan-Kelly

 

 

 

About Jennifer Curtis

Jennifer Curtis is an Honorary Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh: http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/staff/social_anthropology/curtis_jennifer.

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