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Behind the Rule - Law and Identity

Workshop, organized by Ahmed Abd-Elsalam and Francesca Petricca


Cooperation: SFB 586 "Differenz und Integration", MLU; Orientwissenschaftliches Zentrum, MLU


 The goal of this workshop is to analyze the potential interrelations between law and identity in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Our aim is to study controversial tendencies in a society through the analysis of the dialectical relations within plural juridical systems.

Central questions to be addressed at the workshop include:

• Can law be a determinant factor in the creation of a common Identity?

• Which are the other factors influencing social actors while choosing a legal reference framework in contexts of normative pluralism?

• Can a legal system be an instrument of resistance against homogenization?

The workshop “law and identity” will be organized in two parts. In the first one the invited social scientists will give lectures on the topic “law and identity”. In the second part case studies will be presented and analyzed by scholars representing different disciplines.


First Part: Lectures on "Law and Identity" (Friday, 3rd July 2009; Universitätsplatz, Burse zur Tulpe, Musikzimmer)

1 pm Welcome

1.15 pm Welcome speech and Keynote Lecture
Matthias Kaufmann, Sprecher der GS SCM, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
Legal orders and other identities

2.15 pm Keynote Lecture
Keebet and Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
Law and Identity in plural legal orders

3 - 3.30 pm Coffee Break

3.30 pm Public Lecture
Frank Stewart, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The three-party contract in Bedouin customary law

Second Part: Case Studies (Saturday, 04.07.2009; Oriental Institute, Mühlweg 15, Seminar Room I)

9 - 11 am
Religious identity and legal orders
Chair: Jürgen Paul, Oriental Seminar, MLU Halle-Wittenberg

  • Katja Jansen Fredriksen, University of Bergen
    Muslims in Family Law Cases in Norway
  • Bertram Turner, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
    Legal diversity and the Moroccan-Canadians' struggle with multiple identities
  • Patrick Franke, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
    Between factionalism and the Effort for reconciliation: Madhhab Identity in the Works of the Meccan Scholar Mulla ʿAli al-Qari

11 - 11.30 am Coffee Break

11.30 am - 1 pm
Local customary practices and legal identity
Chair: Frank Stewart, University of New York

  • Judith Beyer, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
    Law ‘in the blood': metaphors of embodiment and practices of customizing law
  • Uri Mintzker, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
    The Manshad in the law of the Bedouin of the Negev

1 - 2.30 pm Lunch break

2.30 - 4.30 pm
Plural legal identities
Chair: Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle

  • Ahmed Abd-Elsalam, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
    Who is Badw? On the laws of Bedouin Tribunals
  • Thomas Hüsken, Universität Bayreuth,
    Competetive Legal Pluralism in the Borderland of Egypt and Libya
  • Francesca Petricca, GS SCM, Halle
    Mixed law, mixed identities. A case of legal crossover in colonial Egypt (1911-1938)

Workshop Report

Workshop Report by Francesca Petricca as pdf:
WorkshopReport_Behind the rule.pdf (105.2 KB)  vom 18.03.2010