Dr. Sandra Brunnegger

Fellow

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 project, drawing on multi-sited ethnographic research across Colombia, opens out questions of inter-jurisdictional coordination. It explores co-emergent interactions, practices, and other agentive encounters between and amongst Indigenous political authorities and state representatives, encounters that have come into being in the same spaces opened up by the uncertainties into which Indigenous-state jurisdictional relations have been cast since the constitutional recognition of legal pluralism in Colombia in 1991. The lacuna that is ‘coordination law’, a stipulation that formed part of the 1991 Constitution, continues to produce a range of uncertainties concerning the reach of Indigenous legal systems. Coordination law was intended to set specific terms and conditions by which Indigenous legal systems would relate to, and be congruent with, the received norms and practices of State law and the Constitution. In their turn, these uncertainties have engendered their own varieties of social, political, and legal spaces, as well as brokering all kinds of relational configurations as afterlives of an incomplete scripted formulation of legal pluralism by the state. Coordination lingers on as an object of contestation and politicisation. As one outcome, Indigenous authorities now occupy these discursive spaces across Colombia by reimagining their justice practices, including experimentally establishing their own schools of law and tribunals. As well as mapping these kinds of legal imaginaries, the book captures how coordination law, by its very absence, becomes connected to or otherwise imbricated in the actors’ re-imaginings of Colombia’s multiple – possibly incommensurable and disjunctive – futures in its 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.