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Comments on the Construction of Political Order: Social Contract Theories and Anthropological Observation

Woodman, Gordon R
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Foblets, Marie-Claire, and Trutz von Trotha, eds., Healing the Wounds: Essays on the Reconstruction of Societies after War. Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing. Pp. 15-24.

According to Gordon Woodman, the subject of this book xe2x80x93 the reconstruction of societies after war xe2x80x93 has not been extensively examined in the literature of anthropology and law. Some of the classical writings in these fields may bear significantly on the subject. Woodmanxe2x80x99s aim in this chapter, then, is to examine certain classical ideas in legal philosophy and anthropology that may be of practical usefulness in understanding and pursuing social reconstruction in the aftermath of conflict and war. Hence, on the bases of legal philosophy and anthropology, Woodman explores differences in extreme and widespread violence between western and non-western societies, post-conflict processes that focus on individuals and those that focus on communities, and the origins of state legitimacy.


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