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When Blood Has Spilled: Gender, Honor, and Compensation in Iranian Criminal Sanctioning

This article explores the gender implications of retributive punishment in Iran’s criminal justice system with specific attention to the Islamic mandate of forgiveness. Iranian penal codes allow victims’ families to forgive an offender through forbearance of their right of retribution.… Continue reading

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Unmaking the State in “Occupied” Haiti

The democratic transition in Haiti (1986–present) has been forged alongside the proliferation of global governance interventions, from a series of UN peacekeeping missions to countless NGOs. Much of this activity has been pursued in the name of building state capacity.… Continue reading

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Transparency Short-Circuited: Laughter and Numbers in Costa Rican Water Politics

Between 2006 and 2009, a group of Costa Rican NGOs, a Spanish aid agency, and local residents were entangled in the pursuit of transparency as a means to allocate funding for their “human right to water” project initiatives. Designed as… Continue reading

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The Tengiz Oil Enclave: Labor, Business, and The State

This study focuses on Tengiz, a multinational oil project situated on the northeastern coast of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, operated by Chevron since 1993. The first large international business partnership in the post-Soviet space, TengizChevroil was celebrated as a… Continue reading

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Volume 38, Issue 2 Online

The November 2015 issue of the Political and Legal Anthropology Review (Volume 38, Issue 2) is available now. The first issue to emerge under new editors William Garriott and Heath Cabot, it features a symposium on Punishment and the State, 5 original articles, a… Continue reading

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Becoming Maya? The Politics and Pragmatics of “Being Indigenous” in Postgenocide Guatemala

This paper contrasts the way “Mayan” identity is conceptualized by NGOs and intellectuals in Guatemala with the everyday practices and material conditions influencing perceptions of identity in the rural town of Guaisná. The “truth” of past genocide and the experience… Continue reading

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“It Wasn’t Written for Me”: Law, Debt, and Therapeutic Contracts in Greek Psychiatry

Since the international movement for patients’ rights began, law has played an ambiguous role in mediating conflicts over responsibility for the mentally ill. In Greece, this contention has been shaped by reforms designed to shift psychiatric treatment from custodial hospitals… Continue reading

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Human Rights Law and the Demonization of Culture (And Anthropology Along the Way)

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a prominent radio show asking if I would be willing to talk about the recent incident in Pakistan that resulted in the gang rape of a young woman, an assault… Continue reading

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