• Vita

    since 2008 University of Cambridge
    Official Fellow in Law and Anthropology, St Edmund’s College
  • Research Project

    States of Uncertainty: Coordination, Legal Experimentation & Possible Futures in Colombia

    What does it mean to coordinate state law with Indigenous justice? This book draws on multi-sited ethnographic research conducted across Colombia and opens up questions of Indigenous-state-jurisdictional coordination. It explores emergent practices of interaction between Indigenous political figures and state representatives. These encounters occur in the uncertain spaces opened up for inter-jurisdictional relations since the constitutional recognition of legal pluralism in Colombia in 1991. A coordination law (a stipulation of the 1991 Constitution) was intended to set specific terms and conditions according to which Indigenous legal systems would relate to, and be congruent with, the received norms and practices of state law and the Constitution. The continuing absence of a ‘coordination law’ remains an object of political and legal attention that continues to generate multiple uncertainties about inter-jurisdictional relations.

    In turn, these uncertainties have created their own varieties of social, political, and legal spaces, as well as brokering all kinds of relational configurations, amongst actors as well as institutions as afterlives of an incompletely scripted formulation of legal pluralism by the state. One outcome of this partial instantiation of legal pluralism has been the occupation by Indigenous authorities of the spaces opened up across Colombia in which practices and paradigms of justice continue to be re-imagined and realised, including through the establishment of Indigenous schools of Own laws and tribunals. Mapping these kinds of legal imaginaries, the book seeks to describe how the coordination law, by its very absence, becomes variously entangled in the actors’ re-imaginings of Colombia’s multiple—possibly incommensurable and disjunctive—future movements and directions.

  • Selected Publications

    Brunnegger, Sandra, Ethnographies of Justice. Doing Some Justice to “Justice and Law”, in: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 2020, 1-8.

    Brunnegger, Sandra, Uncertain Sovereignties: Indigenous-State Relations in Colombia, in: Greenhouse, Carol J. and Christina Davis (Hg.), Landscapes of Law: Practicing Sovereignty in Transnational Terrain, University of Pennsylvania Press 2020, 267-289.

    Brunnegger, Sandra (Hg.), Everyday Justice. Law, Ethnography, Injustice, Cambridge 2019.

    Brunnegger, Sandra und Karen Faulk (Hg.), A Sense of Justice. Legal Knowledge and Lived Experience in Latin America, Stanford University Press 2016.