Current Issue

Volume 39, Issue 2

Editors’ Introduction

Our current issue is particularly noteworthy for the sheer diversity of sites it represents, highlighting the range of topics and geographic venues in which political and legal anthropologists are working. Articles by Ather Zia and Katherine Lemons, respectively, explore the complexity of gender roles and kinship in South Asia. Articles also attend closely to language. Alyse Bertenthal’s piece examines the role of speech and discourse in a legal self-help clinic. Andrea E. Pia shows how the meaning of law and civic participation is contested and remade through the talk of Chinese countryside residents.

Articles also continue to push forward the anthropological study of bureaucracy and documents. Liviu Chelsea explores the production and use of genealogical charts in Romanian state bureaucracies. Bilge Firat considers the role of political documents in discussions over Turkey’s EU accession. Authors also deal with questions of migration and (im)mobility. Sarah Horton’s article examines how documents necessary for the workplace (oftentimes “loaned” identity documents) are deployed in efforts to control immigration by “governing through crime.” Dillon Mahoney shows how Kenyan craft traders access different forms of mobility through “scale jumping” in their engagement with technology and with social networks.

Articles also deal with the relationship between justice, tribunals, and courts. Fiona McCormack analyzes the silences that ensue at the intersection of indigeneity and neoliberalism in Maori tribunals. Avram Bornstein, Anthony Marcus, Ric Curtis, and Sarah Rivera explore the important role of a community court in Brooklyn in shaping access to procedural justice. Read collectively, the articles in this issue showcase how political and legal anthropology continues to illuminate key issues in contexts across the globe.

Please note a correction in this issue: in the conclusion of Ather Zia’s article, the phrase “Indian women” should read “Kashmiri women.”

Heath Cabot and William Garriott


The Spectacle of a Good Half-Widow: Women in Search of their Disappeared Men in the Kashmir Valley
Ather Zia

Mobilities and Risks in Coastal Kenya: Jumping Scales Versus Staying Local
Dillon Mahoney

Political Documents and Bureaucratic Entrepreneurs: Lobbying the European Parliament during Turkey’s EU Integration
Bilge Firat

Tell It to the Judge: Procedural Justice and a Community Court in Brooklyn
Avram Bornstein, Anthony Marcus, Ric Curtis, Sarah Rivera, and Rachel Swaner

Indigenous Claims: Hearings, Settlements, and Neoliberal Silencing
Fiona McCormack

The Politics of Livability: Tutoring “Kinwork” in a New Delhi Women’s Arbitration Center
Katherine Lemons

Speaking of Justice: Encounters in a Legal Self-Help Clinic
Alyse Bertenthal

“We Follow Reason, Not the Law:” Disavowing the Law in Rural China
Andrea E. Pia

Kinship of Paper: Genealogical Charts as Bureaucratic Documents
Liviu Chelcea

From “Deportability” to “Denounce-ability:” New Forms of Labor Subordination in an Era of Governing Immigration Through Crime
Sarah B. Horton