Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
Fernanda Pirie is an anthropologist specialising in the Tibetan region. Having conducted fieldwork among Tibetan populations in both India and China, she is undertaking a comparative study of non-state legal processes in the Tibetan region and the experiences of state legal control. A practising barrister in London, before turning to anthropology, Dr. Pirie's research interests are also extending to the London Bar and its role in the production of justice in the UK.
F Pirie, 'Law before Government: Ideology and Aspiration. ' (2010) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. 207–228 [...]
The extended notion of law evoked by the concept of legal pluralism has been subjected to powerful anthropological critiques. Simon Roberts, among others, has argued that law should be kept analytically distinct from forms of negotiated order. His persuasive argument in favour of a link between law and government, however, shuts the door on examples of law which arise before, or apart from, government, but which are nevertheless not negotiated orders. Law, it is argued here, can be identified neither by reference to the negotiation of order, nor by reference to government. It is, rather, an intellectual system, identified by its expressive and aspirational qualities and its ideological claims to promote order and justice. In order to distinguish law from other ideological systems it is, then, necessary for the legal anthropologist to pay more attention to the significance of the legal form.
F Pirie, 'The horse with two saddles: tamxhwe in modern Golok' (2009) Asian Highland Perspectives 16486
F Pirie, 'Legal autonomy as political engagement: the Ladakhi village in the wider world' (2006) 40 Law and Society Review 77
F Pirie, 'Secular morality, village law and Buddhism in Tibetan societies' (2006) 12 Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 173
F Pirie, 'Segmentation Within the State: The Reconfiguration of Tibetan Tribes In China's Reform Period' (2005) 9 (1-2) Nomadic Peoples 83
F Pirie, 'Segmentation within the state: the reconfiguration of Tibetan tribes in China's reform period' (2005) 9 Nomadic Peoples, special issue on Pastoralism in Post-Socialist Asia 83
F Pirie, The Anthropology of Law. ( Oxford University Press 2013) (forthcoming)
F Pirie, The limits of the state: coercion and consent in Chinese Tibet (Journal of Asian Studies 2013) (forthcoming) [...]
Although China’s Tibetans profoundly mistrust the ideologies of the party-state, associating them with illegitimate practices of domination, protest and revolt are rare and effectively suppressed. This might be seen as quasi-colonial domination, the state securing subjection through the performance of paramount power, demonstrated by its suppression of the 2008 protests; or, it could be attributed to a form of indirect rule, by which local officials engage with local leaders to generate hegemonic consent. While both dynamics are present on the Tibetan plateau, ethnographic fieldwork among the Tibetan populations of Qinghai and Gansu provinces reveals that consent is primarily generated by local officials who negotiate a form of local order with religious and tribal leaders. Ignoring the ideological demands of their superiors, they engage constructively with the expectations of the Tibetans about how order should be maintained and, in doing so, subvert the state’s ideal of uniform and unitary sovereignty.
F Pirie, Legal dramas on the Amdo grasslands: abolition, transformation or survival? (K. Buffetrille, Brill 2012) [...]
Despite half a century of Chinese governmental control Tibetan pastoralists on the grasslands of Amdo continue to engage in practices of feuding and mediation. This chapter describes the legal drama of the mediation process, comparing modern events with historic accounts and tracing the evidence of continuity and transformation. It describes an elaborate ceremony held to mark the settlement of a long-running feud, which appears to be a modern adaptation, by government officials, of traditional Tibetan practices. It transpires, however, on closer scrutiny, that this is an entirely new form of state-sponsored legal ritual. At the same time practices of mediation continue to be conducted according to the central principles of the historic processes. These occur unobtrusively, paradoxically often being discreetly supported by local government administrators, who are compelled to subvert official state policy on law and order in the interests of resolving local conflict.
F Pirie, Peace and conflict in Ladakh: the construction of a fragile web of order (Leiden: Brill 2007)
F Pirie, 'From tribal Tibet: the significance of the legal form' in M. Freeman (ed), Law and anthropology (Oxford: University Press. 2009)
F Pirie, 'Kings, monks, bureaucrats and the police: Tibetan responses to law and authority' in F. von Benda-Beckmann, K. von Benda-Beckmann and A. Griffiths (eds), The power of law in a transnational world (Oxford: Berghahn. 2009)
F Pirie, 'Dancing in the face of death: Losar celebrations in Photoksar.' in M. van Beek and F. Pirie (eds), Ladakhi societies: continuity and change in anthropological perspective (Leiden: Brill. 2008)
F Pirie, 'Violence and opposition among the nomads of Amdo: expectations of leadership and religious authority.' in T. Huber and F. Pirie (eds), Conflict, religion and social order in Tibet and Inner Asia (Leiden: Brill. 2008)
F Pirie, 'Order, individualism and responsibility: contrasting dynamics on the Tibetan plateau' in von Benda-Beckmann K and Pirie F (eds), Order and disorder: anthropological perspectives (Oxford: Berghahn 2007)
F Pirie, 'Insisting on agreement: Tibetan law and its development in Ladakh' in C. Klieger (ed), Tibetan Borderlands (Leiden: Brill 2006)
F Pirie, 'Legal complexity on the Tibetan plateau.' in F. and K. von Benda-Beckmann (eds), Dynamics of plural legal orders (Journal of Legal Pluralism, special issue 2006)
F Pirie, 'The impermanence of power: village politics in Ladakh, Nepal and Tibet' in J. Bray (ed), Ladakhi histories: local and regional perspectives (Leiden: Brill 2005)
F Pirie and T. Huber (eds), Conflict and social order in Tibet and Inner Asia (Leiden: Brill 2008)
F Pirie and M. van Beek (eds), Modern Ladakh: continuity and change in anthropological perspective. (Leiden: Brill 2008)
F Pirie and K. von Benda-Beckmann (eds), Order and disorder: anthropological perspectives (Oxford: Berghahn 2007)
F Pirie, 'Tribe and state in Eastern Tibet: feuding, mediation and the negotiation of authority among the Amdo nomads' (2005) Working paper no. 72 Halle: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.