Call for contributions to a special issue of Legal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis dedicated to the memory and scientific contributions of Keebet von Benda-Beckmann

Keebet von Benda-Beckmann unexpectedly passed away on October 5th of this year. In her memory, our journal invites contributions for the special issue that engage with Keebet's oeuvre in an innovative way.

Keebet was one of the founding members of the Commission on Legal Pluralism and a member of its Executive Body until she passed away. Between 1997 and 2003 she served as the Commission’s President. With her knowledge of, and scientific interest in the anthropology of law and legal pluralism, she has also been a major contributor to the (former) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, now Legal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis.

Keebet’s contributions to the development of the anthropology of law, with a focus on legal pluralism, cannot be overestimated. In the Netherlands, Germany (at the Max Planck Institute in Halle, where Keebet and her late husband Franz founded the Project Group Legal Pluralism), and elsewhere —especially in Indonesia— Keebet has taught, supervised, and otherwise inspired innumerable students, researchers and activists. The many social media reactions to Keebet´s death testify to the important role she has played in supporting the ethnographic study of law and legal pluralism in Southeast Asia and beyond, and particularly in inspiring Indonesian students, activists, and scholars

For this special issue, two streams will be developed, with the objective of publishing a Spring 2024 volume of the journal of Legal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis. In the first stream, organized by Bertram Turner ( and Melanie Wiber (, authors are invited to send their proposals for peer reviewed paper contributions (provisional title, abstract (250 words), keywords) to the special issue editors.

We invite proposals that engage in a scientific dialogue with Keebet’s oeuvre, critically examine and further develop one or several of her main theoretical positions, and or contextualize Keebet’s epistemological insights in an innovative way.

Our aim is to especially highlight Keebet’s contribution to research on legal pluralism. We are interested in the ways her research over the years has advanced thinking in terms of legal pluralism as an analytical concept and a theoretical framework. We would like to address how we see her legacy contributing to the most recent reflections on legal pluralism in the context of post foundational relational theorizing in social sciences.

In the second stream, organized by Anne Griffiths (, brief commentaries are invited that reflect on the regional reception of Keebet’s oeuvre, or her impact/engagement as a teacher, promoter, supporter or friend in academia and beyond. These shorter pieces may be around 2000 words and will not be peer reviewed.

The deadline for submitting proposals for both paper and commentaries is February 24, 2023. Full manuscripts for both contributions must be submitted by September 15, 2023. © 2024 | Disclaimer