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Léon Buskens

Abstract

In 1957-1958 Moroccan family law was codified in the Mudawwana, a text known for its close adherence to the classical Maliki tradition. Since the early 1980s the debate about reform has become more intense and widespread. The relatively limited reform of the Mudawwana in 1993 was closely linked to the beginnings of a process of cautious democratization. Since then the discussions have become more vehement, especially since the coming to power of a new government in 1998 consisting of former opposition parties. A year later this government presented a plan for extensive family law reforms. The plan has provoked considerable public debate over key concepts such as democracy, development, human rights, civil society, and ijtihād. Upon closer inspection, larger issues are at stake: Who may speak out in public and participate in politics? This new turn in the discussions is related to the emergence of a public sphere.

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From Trash to Treasure

Ethnographic Notes on Collecting Legal Documents in Morocco

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Léon Buskens

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Jean Kommers and Léon Buskens

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Attempts to assess the results of colonial anthropology in Indonesia faced some problems, which, until recently, have not been dealt with properly. Therefore, in a newly published comprehensive history of anthropology in the Netherlands, several studies focused on the character, rather than on the substance of colonial anthropology. In the case of Dutch colonial representations of Indonesia, 'colonial anthropology' appears to be an assemblage of various disciplines that constituted a fragmented whole (Indologie; Dutch Indies Studies) from which today's Dutch academic anthropology emerged. However, projection of current conceptions of anthropology into the colonial past resulted in a tendency to neglect some major characteristics of early representations that are imperative for the interpretation of these representations. Besides, a rather limited familiarity amongst present-day anthropologists with the way in which Dutch colonial politics became immersed in international discourses resulted in misappraisal of an essential change in colonial knowledge: the shift from local to analytical representations, deeply affecting the portrayal of Indonesian cultures. In colonial knowledge production, emphasis moved from ethnographic particularism to essentialist conceptions like 'Knowledge of the Native'. This shift also had serious consequences for the academic position of ethnology amongst other colonial disciplines. Until recently, this misappraisal could escape notice because students of Dutch colonial anthropology were insufficiently aware of the effects on interpretation of the great variety of disciplinary discourses, so characteristic for Dutch colonial studies. Therefore, we will here concentrate on these effects and on the growing intertwinement of knowledge and politics which was directly related to the international orientation of colonial policy that became increasingly prominent after the mid-nineteenth century.

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Edited by Léon Buskens, Nathal Dessing and Petra Sijpesteijn

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Edited by Amira Bennison, Léon Buskens and Houari Touati

Studies in the History and Society of the Maghrib is a series of peer reviewed monographs and coherent edited volumes on the societies of the Maghrib.

The Maghrib is a category used by scholars working within several traditions and disciplines. For this series it is understood in its widest sense, covering societies ranging from Mauritania to Libya and its relations with Western Egypt and al-Andalus. This area offers a useful framework for analysis, since its societies show similarities as well as differences which make comparison especially worthwhile. The series aims to publish innovative original work on various aspects of Maghribi societies and covers the entire span of the Islamic history of the region, with a notable interest in current developments. Since all aspects of its social and cultural life are considered of interest, the series encompasses many disciplines ranging from traditional philological approaches to history, art, and the social and political sciences. Monographs, edited texts, translations, and edited volumes are all welcome to be part of the series. Comparative analyses, preferably theoretically informed, are also welcome.

Books in English and French are eligible for publication.

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Edited by Maaike van Berkel, Léon Buskens and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

This volume is a tribute to the work of legal and social historian and Arabist Rudolph Peters (University of Amsterdam). Presenting case studies from different periods and areas of the Muslim world, the book examines the use of legal documents for the study of the history of Muslim societies. From examinations of the conceptual status of legal documents to comparative studies of the development of legal formulae and the socio-economic or political historical information documents contain, the aim is to approach legal documents as specialised texts belonging to a specific social domain, while simultaneously connecting them to other historical sources. It discusses the daily functioning of legal institutions, the reflections of regime changes on legal documentation, daily life, and the materiality of legal documents.

Contributors are Maaike van Berkel, Maurits H. van den Boogert, Léon Buskens, Khaled Fahmy, Aharon Layish, Sergio Carro Martín, Brinkley Messick, Toru Miura, Christian Müller, Petra M. Sijpesteijn, Mathieu Tillier, and Amalia Zomeño.
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Edited by Maaike van Berkel, Léon Buskens and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

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Edited by Maaike van Berkel, Léon Buskens and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

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Maaike van Berkel, Léon Buskens and Petra M. Sijpesteijn