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ANR funded project

Appel Franco-allemand en sciences humaines et sociales (FRAL)
Edition 2010


PROMETEE


Property in Moslem Transitional Environments

Property in Moslem Transitional Environments (PROMETEE)
The PROMETEE program conducts an anthropological study of the law in societies wholly or partly Muslim. It seeks first to question the relationship between law and Islam, while re-specifying the answer that is given to it. It starts from the lack of attention given to the question of legal practices. It proposes to substitute for the anthropology of Islamic law an anthropology of legal practices of Muslims in German speaking Europe and in Muslim countries formerly colonized by France.

From an anthropology of Islamic Law to an anthropology of law in Muslim contexts
The PROMETEE Program pursues a double objective. On the one hand, it aims at developing a descriptive, non-ideological theory of the plural nature of law, hereby making substantial progress in the social sciences of law. It treats the question of law starting from the practices, the language and the texts; and also wants to show the inextricably dependent character of economic and legal decisions towards which the people involved orient themselves, i.e., to refute the idea of an anthropology of law separated from economic considerations (and conversely).

Ethnographic, linguistic and documentary
The research undertaken is ethnographic, linguistic and documentary. It starts, therefore, by collecting all relevant data. With regard to ethnography, it will take field notes and, if necessary and practicable, make use of audio and video recording. With regards to linguistics, the recording will allow for establishing a corpus not only covering an inventory of the lexicon used, but also providing for its grammatical and interactional contextualisation. With regard to the documentation, the constitution of a corpus of legal acts will permit to determine the place of the written in the procedures and its evidentiary role in property relations. All three levels of research operate in “legal” settings, where conflicts are to be solved either by arbitration or mediation (searching for a compromise) or decision (third-party in charge of pronouncing a verdict). Overall, the material of the research program consists of everything in actions or words that allows for assessing legal conceptions and their usages as preferred in local settings.

Results

proceedings, 15 papers, 2 journal articles, 1 journal special issue, 8 meetings

Outlook

publication of 6 volumes with Brill, one final colloquium and 4 group meetings
first production of this scope in the field of the anthropology of law in Muslim contexts

Scientific outputs and patents

0

Partners

CJB CENTRE JACQUES BERQUE

EZIRE Erlanger Zentrums für Islam und Recht in Europa

ANR grant: 269 999 euros
Beginning and duration: - 36 mois

Submission abstract

The PROMETEE program conducts an anthropological study of the law in societies wholly or partly Muslim. It seeks first to question the relationship between law and Islam, while re-specifying the answer that is given to it. It starts from the lack of attention given to the question of legal practices. To make up this deficit, it proposes to substitute for the anthropology of Islamic law an anthropology of legal practices of Muslims in German speaking Europe and in Muslim countries formerly colonized by France. It targets an essential part of the law, i.e. property, the contract which relates to it, and its transmission. Methodologically, it combines an ethnography of legal, linguistic, and interactional practices in Muslim contexts.
The Program pursues a double objective. On the one hand, it aims at developing a descriptive, non-ideological theory of the plural nature of law, hereby making substantial progress in the social sciences of law. It treats the question of law starting from the practices, the language and the texts; and also wants to show the inextricably dependent character of economic and legal decisions towards which the people involved orient themselves, i.e., to refute the idea of an anthropology of law separated from economic considerations (and conversely).
On the other, it “de-essentializes” and “de-culturalizes” the references which are made to Islam. It is thus building and carrying out a praxiological anthropology of property. The reference to the authority of Islam is probably occasional and, when it appears, is part of the banality and routine of carrying out legal practice. Does this mean that there is no specifically Islamic authority in legal rules? We would rather re-specify the question: instead of wondering what is the Islamic authority of legal rules, we will try to describe, in context and action, the modes of use and reference to legal rules and their production. And eventually (only at the end of the enquiry), we might be able to assess what is specifically Islamic.

 

ANR Programme: Appel Franco-allemand en sciences humaines et sociales (FRAL) 2010

Project ID: ANR-10-FRAL-0013

Project coordinator:
Baudouin DUPRET (CENTRE JACQUES BERQUE)
baudouin.dupret@nullcjb.ma

Project web site: http://www.cjb.ma

 

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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.