Interdisciplinarity in Migration Research: Combining law and anthropology

Working bibliography

In this section, we have started to assemble a working bibliography with articles addressing interdisciplinarity, with a particular focus on law and anthropology.

A wall in a library
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Main content

The works are listed alphabetically.

This is a relevant book for thinking of concepts in relation to interdisciplinarity. Bal argues that interdisciplinarity must seek its methodological basis in concepts/conceptual reflections rather than methods.

  • Beynon-Jones, Siân M. & Grabham, Emily (2019) Introduction, in Beynon-Jones, Siân M. & Grabham, Emily (Eds.) Law and Time. Routledge, 2019. 

In bringing together this collection on law’s relationship with time, our concern has been to register an increasing commitment among scholars across disciplines to shift such patterns of engagement. Our own research over the past few years has been preoccupied with the question of law’s temporalities, drawingon a range of critical resources to investigate, through empirical research, the co-production of legal and temporal norms, subjectivities and political ontologies.

The movement toward greater team-based research reflects a larger movement among both universities and funding agencies—within the USA and globally—to promote interdisciplinarity. The goals of interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research are defined. A discussion of the pros and cons of interdisciplinary work in general, followed by an application of these themes to research and training in law and social science, is presented.

This introduction identifies and elaborates on three modes of legal geographic research. The first mode of legal geography includes disciplinary work in law or in geography that is modeled on the conventional image of import and export. The second is an interdisciplinary pursuit in which scholars in the eponymous fields draw on the work of each other and seek to contribute to the development of a common project. The third mode moves beyond legal geography to trans-disciplinary, or perhaps even post-disciplinary, modes of scholarship.

Alongside the push to expand legal geography into new spaces and temporalities “out there,” this chapter proposes an inward expansion: a reflection on how we come to write what we write rather than where, when, and why we do so. Such greater awareness to the craftsmanship of our scholarship will pay off in a range of ways and, most importantly, by increasing our methodological diversity and interdisciplinarity.

As phrased, this provocation, worthy of address though it certainly is, may ultimately be unanswerable. The reason? Because, like all questions of this sort, it harbours others within it. Precisely which ‘anthropology’? ‘Law’ as what? As everyday practice, as theorised praxis, as pedagogy, as politics by other means? What, moreover, counts as mattering? And from where, in particular, is the provocation being posed? All these questions, patently, make a difference.

Anthropology is apt to study any aspect of social life – of which international courts are of course a part. ‘M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece’ was adopted by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. The case concerned the transfer of an asylum seeker by Belgium to Greece. In more sense than one, the judgment was extra-ordinary.

This chapter argues for a re-evaluation of the legal method in the Netherlands. The legal method, based on case study, causes the study of law to be a practice-embedded discipline and those engaged in the study (and practice) of law to remain locked within the confines of a discipline that does not allow for an alternative or external view of how problems may be resolved. This chapter addresses the need to introduce a contextual perspective into (Dutch) legal research, which necessitates the incorporation of an interdisciplinary approach.

Mark Goodale introduces central problems in the anthropology of law, traces the development of the field, and builds on the legacy of its intellectual history. The book explores the new overlap of law, politics, and technology and surveys the contributions that anthropologists have made to our understanding of them.

This interdisciplinary and international 'curated conversation' focuses on the relationship between time, law and social ordering. Participants were drawn from law, sociology and anthropology in the UK, Canada and the Netherlands. Their research is inspired by, and engaged with, feminist theory, post- or anti-colonial perspectives and/or critical race theory.

This article is about the relationship between cultural conceptions of time-"social time" and the organization and management of legal institutions. As an idea, time has profound consequences in its capacity to encode and systematize otherwise disparate and unreferenced events and re- lationships. Concepts of time vary widely around the world, and Western ideas about time-including the conventional formulation that time moves in a straight line from past to present, through one's own life- time-acquired shape and force entirely apart from the scientific "discovery" of time.

Both funding agencies and scholars in science studies have become increasingly concerned with how to define and identify interdisciplinarity in research. The task is tricky, since the complexity of interdisciplinary research defies a single definition. Our study tackles this challenge by demonstrating a new typology and qualitative indicators for analyzing interdisciplinarity in research documents.

At a time of ‘interdisciplinary’ scholarly debate and ‘transdisciplinary’ pedagogy, some disciplines appear more siloed and tone deaf to each other than ever before. This article will consider why law and anthropology as disciplines offer almost no impact upon each other’s educational or research agendas.

This special issue looks at how anthropological knowledge can fruitfully inform legal research and also the tensions between the objectives of the two disciplines. In one contribution, Luc Leboef reflects on the promises and challenges of integrating empirical knowledge on migrants’ vulnerabilities into legal reasoning.

Anthropology has had an enormous influence on legal research and in the development of socio-legal studies. The long and rich relationship between anthropology and law has many strands, and it is impossible to provide a comprehensive analysis in one short chapter. Instead, this chapter identifies some “headline” features of this disciplinary relationship and then outlines how the author’s own research has been influenced by anthropological theory and method.

This paper reflects on previous ethnographic research with multidisciplinary scientific teams in order to consider the place of STS-inspired ethnographies in thinking about and doing such larger scale, collaborative work. The practice of ethnography of/in multidisciplinary projects is both productive in terms of enabling knowledge about “interdisciplinary science in the making,” and disruptive, as it becomes a part of said knowledge processes in ways we have yet to fully consider.

This working paper, which arose from collaborative research carried out at the Law & Society Institute at the Law Faculty of Humboldt University in Berlin and at the Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, contributes to the growing field of socio-legal research on the topic of migration in Germany.

This open access book covers the main issues, challenges and techniques concerning the application of qualitative methodologies to the study of migration. It discusses theoretical, epistemological and empirical questions that must be considered before, during, and after undertaking qualitative research in migration studies.