Benda-Beckmann & Pirie - Chapter 01
Disorder and instability are matters of continuing public concern.
Terrorism, as a threat to global order, has been added to
preoccupations with political unrest, deviance and crime. Such
considerations have prompted the return to the classic anthropological
issues of order and disorder. Examining order within the political and
legal spheres and in contrasting local settings, the papers in this
volume, highlight its complex and contested nature. Elaborate displays
of order seem necessary to legitimate the institutionalisation of
violence by military and legal establishments, yet violent behaviour
can be incorporated into the social order by the development of
boundaries, rituals and established processes of conflict resolution.
Order is said to depend upon justice, yet injustice legitimates
disruptive protest. Case studies from Siberia, India, Indonesia, Tibet,
West Africa, Morocco and the Ottoman Empire show that local responses
are often inconsistent in their valorisation, acceptance and
condemnation of disorder.