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Artikel

John Griffiths’ streven naar een theoretisch kader voor de rechtssociologie

Een kritische analyse

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden socio-legal theory, social control, Rules, legal pluralism, Law
Auteurs Roel Pieterman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution focuses on John Griffiths’ relentless attempt at developing a general theoretical perspective for socio-legal studies. Hence, attention to Griffiths’ important contributions to legal pluralism and the social working of law approach is paid only in passing. Similar to a much earlier assessment, the analysis of Griffiths’ proposal in this contribution is quite critical. Measured against five criteria this author deems important for any socio-legal theoretical framework, the verdict is that Griffiths’ proposal falls short of all of them. The analysis itself focuses primarily on Griffiths’ attempt to redefine the subject for socio-legal studies in terms of social control, the way he uses the concept ‘law’, and his primary focus on rules and rule following. One overall conclusion is that Griffiths remained a legal scholar to a much greater extent than he would have liked.


Roel Pieterman
Roel Pieterman (1953) is hoofddocent rechtssociologie aan Erasmus School of Law. Zijn onderzoeksbelangstelling is vooral gericht op de politiek-juridische omgang met ‘risico’s’. In die lijn schreef hij De voorzorgcultuur (2008) en Gewicht zit niet tussen je oren (2017). Zijn voornaamste onderwijstaak betreft het verzorgen van inleidend onderwijs in de rechtssociologie. In die lijn heeft hij, vooral in de jaren 1990, veel gebruikgemaakt van de door John Griffiths geredigeerde ‘RUG-bundel’. In die periode hield hij zich, evenals John, bezig met onderzoek naar een geschikt theoretisch kader voor de rechtssociologie. Het resultaat daarvan publiceerde hij in 1998 in Recht der Werkelijkheid. In dat tijdschrift discussieerde hij in die periode diverse malen met John over de vraag wat een goede benadering zou zijn.

    This paper presents a reflection on the theoretical work on the social working of law of the past two decades. It is argued that early assumptions, that legal models were becoming increasingly globalised, creating an increasingly uniform body of law, have not come true. The global spread of neo-capitalism has not only given rise to de-juridification, it has also engendered juridification in which ever more sectors of social life, from small scale to global, are being colonised by law. This development is initiated from above and below in equal measure, and concerns not only the law of nation states, but also law created by other actors, including religious law of various provenance. The paper argues that great progress has been made in understanding how transnational law is generated and how law is transnationalised, but that the ways in which these processes work when actors actually use this transnationalised law in contexts of legal pluralism are not yet adequately understood. The paper presents a perspective on transnationalisation of law that is grounded in space, a perspective that may aid our understanding of the social working of law in transnational contexts. The first section provides a brief survey of some of the main academic approaches to processes of transnationalisation. The second section addresses the issue of location and considers what happens in settings where actors use transnationalising law. The conclusions discuss the value of transnational space and transnational legal space as concepts for the analysis of transnationalising law.


Keebet von Benda-Beckmann
Keebet von Benda-Beckmann is head of the Project Group Legal Pluralism at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. She also holds honorary chairs in social anthropology and legal pluralism at the Universities of Leipzig and Halle. She has carried out research on dispute management, social security, natural resources in West Sumatra, the Moluccas, and in the Netherlands. She has been conducting field research on the effects of decentralisation and reforms of local government in West Sumatra since the fall of the Suharto regime. She has widely published on dispute management, resources, social security, and on theoretical issues of legal pluralism.
Artikel

Transnationalism, Legal Pluralism and Types of Conflicts

Contractual Norms Concerning Domestic Workers

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2011
Auteurs Antoinette Vlieger
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Transnationalism and migration are recognised contributors to legal pluralism. Scholars of legal pluralism state that in conflicts, social actors sustain their claims with arguments from coexisting legal systems. They manoeuvre between different legal systems, or contradicting norms within one system, to achieve the most satisfactory decision in a conflict. In doing so, they use norms as discursive tools. Indeed, according to data on domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, this manoeuvring with norms as discursive tools is often recognisable in conflicts between workers and their employers. However, transnational contractual norms and the legal pluralism they create are not merely discursive tools in existing conflicts; they are also regularly the cause of conflicts. Domestic workers conclude agreements with agents in their countries of origin, while employers conclude agreements with different agents in the destination countries. Both parties believe the other party has signed the same contract, while in reality that is not the case. Because of the differences between the two sets of contractual norms, these norms cause conflicts; they are not merely discursive tools. This finding calls for a division between different types of conflicts, which is proposed here for the purpose of socio-legal analysis of conflicts in general and particularly in situations of transnationalism and legal pluralism.


Antoinette Vlieger
Antoinette Vlieger is a researcher and lecturer at the Law School of the University of Amsterdam. For the last five years she has been researching conflicts between domestic workers and their employers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Her PhD thesis on this topic is to be published in fall 2011. Thereafter she hopes to do research on the question of why there is little labour protection on the Arabian Peninsula, combining this with hands-on human rights work in the Middle East.
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