Affective Justice

 Since its inception in 2001, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been met with resistance by various African states and their leaders who see the court as a new iteration of colonial violence and control. In Affective Justice Kamari Maxine Clarke explores the African Union’s pushback against the ICC in order to theorize affect’s role in shaping forms of justice in the contemporary period. Drawing on fieldwork in The Hague, the African Union in Addis Ababa, sites of postelection violence in Kenya, and Boko Haram’s circuits in Northern Nigeria, Clarke formulates the concept of affective justice—an emotional response to competing interpretations of justice—to trace how affect becomes manifest in judicial practices. By detailing the effects of the ICC’s all-African indictments, she outlines how affective responses to these call into question the “objectivity” of the ICC’s mission to protect those victimized by violence and prosecute perpetrators of those crimes. In analyzing the effects of such cases, Clarke provides a fuller theorization of how people articulate what justice is and the mechanisms through which they do so.

Fictions of Justice

By taking up the challenge of documenting how human rights values are embedded in rule of law movements to produce a new language of international justice that competes with a range of other formations, this book explores how notions of justice are negotiated through everyday micropractices and grassroots contestations of those practices. These micropractices include speech acts that revere the protection of international rights, citation references to treaty documents, the brokering of human rights agendas, the rewriting of national constitutions, demonstrations of religiosity that make explicit the piety of religious subjects, and ritual practices of forgiveness that involve the invocation of ancestral religious cosmologies – all practices that detail the ways that justice, as a social fiction, is made real within particular relations of power.

Mapping Yorùbá Networks

Three flags fly in the palace courtyard of Òyótúnjí African Village. One represents black American emancipation from slavery, one black nationalism, and the third the establishment of an ancient Yorùbá Empire in the state of South Carolina. Located sixty-five miles southwest of Charleston, Òyótúnjí is a Yorùbá revivalist community founded in 1970. Mapping Yorùbá Networks is an innovative ethnography of Òyótúnjí and a theoretically sophisticated exploration of how Yorùbá òrìsà voodoo religious practices are reworked as expressions of transnational racial politics. Drawing on several years of multisited fieldwork in the United States and Nigeria, Kamari Maxine Clarke describes Òyótúnjí in vivid detail—the physical space, government, rituals, language, and marriage and kinship practices—and explores how ideas of what constitutes the Yorùbá past are constructed. She highlights the connections between contemporary Yorùbá transatlantic religious networks and the post-1970s institutionalization of roots heritage in American social life.

Examining how the development of a deterritorialized network of black cultural nationalists became aligned with a lucrative late-twentieth-century roots heritage market, Clarke explores the dynamics of Òyótúnjí Village’s religious and tourist economy. She discusses how the community generates income through the sale of prophetic divinatory consultations, African market souvenirs—such as cloth, books, candles, and carvings—and fees for community-based tours and dining services. Clarke accompanied Òyótúnjí villagers to Nigeria, and she describes how these heritage travelers often returned home feeling that despite the separation of their ancestors from Africa as a result of transatlantic slavery, they—more than the Nigerian Yorùbá—are the true claimants to the ancestral history of the Great Òyó Empire of the Yorùbá people. Mapping Yorùbá Networks is a unique look at the political economy of homeland identification and the transnational construction and legitimization of ideas such as authenticity, ancestry, blackness, and tradition.

Mirrors of Justice

Mirrors of Justice is a groundbreaking study of the meanings of and possibilities for justice in the contemporary world. The book brings together a group of both prominent and emerging scholars to reconsider the relationships between justice, international law, culture, power, and history through case studies of a wide range of justice processes. The book’s eighteen authors examine the ambiguities of justice in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Melanesia through critical empirical and historical chapters. The introduction makes an important contribution to our understanding of the multiplicity of justice in the twenty-first century by providing an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that synthesizes the book’s chapters with leading-edge literature on human rights, legal pluralism, and international law.

Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice

Edited by Kamari M. Clarke, Carleton University, Ottawa, Abel S. Knottnerus, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands, Eefje de Volder, Universiteit van Tilburg, The Netherlands

Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice comprises contributions from prominent scholars of different disciplines including international law, political science, cultural anthropology, African history and media studies. This unique collection provides the reader with detailed insights into the interaction between the African Union and the International Criminal Court (ICC), but also looks further at the impact of the ICC at a societal level in African states and examines other justice mechanisms on a local and regional level in these countries. This investigation of the ICC’s complicated relationship with Africa allows the reader to see that perceptions of justice are multilayered.

The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society

Edited By Mariana Valverde, Kamari M. Clarke, Eve Darian Smith, Prabha Kotiswaran

This innovative handbook provides a comprehensive, and truly global, overview of the main approaches and themes within law and society scholarship or social-legal studies.

A one-volume introduction to academic resources and ideas that are relevant for today’s debates on issues from reproductive justice to climate justice, food security, water conflicts, artificial intelligence, and global financial transactions, this handbook is divided into two sections. The first, ‘Perspectives and Approaches’, accessibly explains a variety of frameworks through which the relationship between law and society is addressed and understood, with emphasis on contemporary perspectives that are relatively new to many socio-legal scholars. Following the book’s overall interest in social justice, the entries in this section of the book show how conceptual tools originate in, and help to illuminate, real-world issues. The second and largest section of the book (42 short well-written pieces) presents reflections on topics or areas concerning law, justice, and society that are inherently interdisciplinary and that are relevance to current – but also classical – struggles around justice. Informing readers about the lineage of ideas that are used or could be used today for research and activism, the book attends to the full range of local, national and transnational issues in law and society. The authors were carefully chosen to achieve a diverse and non-Eurocentric view of socio-legal studies.

This volume will be invaluable for law students, those in inter-disciplinary programs such as law and society, justice studies and legal studies, and those with interests in law, but based in other social sciences. It will also appeal to general readers interested in questions of justice and rights, including activists and advocates around the world.

The African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights in Context: Development and Challenges

Edited by Charles C. Jalloh, Florida International University, Kamari M. Clarke, University of California, Los Angeles, Vincent O. Nmehielle, The African Development Bank

The treaty creating the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights, if and when it comes into force, contains innovative elements that have potentially significant implications for current substantive and procedural approaches to regional and international dispute settlements. Bringing together leading authorities in international criminal law, human rights and transitional justice, this volume provides the first comprehensive analysis of the ‘Malabo Protocol’ while situating it within the wider fields of international law and international relations. The book, edited by Professors Jalloh, Clarke and Nmehielle, offers scholarly, empirical, critically engaged and practical analyses of some of its most challenging provisions. Breaking new ground on the African Court, but also treating old concepts in a novel and relevant way, The African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights in Context is for anyone interested in international law, including international criminal law and international human rights law.

Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge

Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine Clarke

The ethnographic methods that anthropologists first developed to study other cultures—fieldwork, participant observation, dialogue—are now being adapted for a broad array of applications, such as business, conflict resolution and demobilization, wildlife conservation, education, and biomedicine. In Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge, anthropologists trace the changes they have seen in ethnography as a method and as an intellectual approach, and they offer examples of ethnography’s role in social change and its capacity to transform its practitioners.

Senior scholars Mary Catherine Bateson, Sidney Mintz, and J. Lorand Matory look back at how thinking ethnographically shaped both their work and their lives, and George Marcus suggests that the methods for teaching and training anthropologists need rethinking and updating. The second part of the volume features anthropologists working in sectors where ethnography is finding or claiming new relevance: Kamari Maxine Clarke looks at ethnographers’ involvement (or non-involvement) in military conflict, Csilla Kalocsai employs ethnographic tools to understand the dynamics of corporate management, Rebecca Hardin and Melissa Remis take their own anthropological training into rainforests where wildlife conservation and research meet changing subsistence practices and gendered politics of social difference, and Marcia Inhorn shows how the interests in mobility and diasporic connection that characterize a new generation of ethnographic work also apply to medical technologies, as those mediate fertility and relate to social status in the Middle East.

Globalization and Race

Edited by Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas

Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas argue that a firm grasp of globalization requires an understanding of how race has constituted, and been constituted by, global transformations. Focusing attention on race as an analytic category, this state-of-the-art collection of essays explores the changing meanings of blackness in the context of globalization. It illuminates the connections between contemporary global processes of racialization and transnational circulations set in motion by imperialism and slavery; between popular culture and global conceptions of blackness; and between the work of anthropologists, policymakers, religious revivalists, and activists and the solidification and globalization of racial categories.

A number of the essays bring to light the formative but not unproblematic influence of African American identity on other populations within the black diaspora. Among these are an examination of the impact of “black America” on racial identity and politics in mid-twentieth-century Liverpool and an inquiry into the distinctive experiences of blacks in Canada. Contributors investigate concepts of race and space in early-twenty-first century Harlem, the experiences of trafficked Nigerian sex workers in Italy, and the persistence of race in the purportedly non-racial language of the “New South Africa.” They highlight how blackness is consumed and expressed in Cuban timba music, in West Indian adolescent girls’ fascination with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in the incorporation of American rap music into black London culture. Connecting race to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, and religion, these essays reveal how new class economies, ideologies of belonging, and constructions of social difference are emerging from ongoing global transformations.

Contributors. Robert L. Adams, Lee D. Baker, Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Tina M. Campt, Kamari Maxine Clarke, Raymond Codrington, Grant Farred, Kesha Fikes, Isar Godreau, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, John L. Jackson Jr., Oneka LaBennett, Naomi Pabst, Lena Sawyer, Deborah A. Thomas

  • Journal Articles
  • Book Chapters
  • Commentaries

“Towards Reflexivity in the Anthropology of Expertise and Law.” American Anthropologist. Introduction to Special Section: Cultural Expertise. Vol. 122. Issue 3, pp 584-587 | PDF

The beauty….is that it speaks for itself’: geospatial materials as evidentiary matters. 2019. Kamari Clarke and co-authored with Sara Kendall. IN Legal Materialities.  Law Text Culture Journal. Special Issue. Special Issue Editors: Hyo Yoon Kang and Sara Kendall. Law, Text, Culture. Volume 23. Legal Materiality. Article 7. | PDF

Affective Justice: The Racialized Imaginaries of International Justice. Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR). Vol. 42. Issue 2, pp 244-267 | PDF

“Rethinking Sovereignty through Hashtag Publics: The New Body Politics.” Cultural Anthropology – Openings and Retrospectives. Vol. 32. Issue 3, pp 359-366. ISSN 0886-7356, online ISSN 1548-1360. | PDF

“Beyond Genealogies: Expertise and Religious Knowledge in Legal Cases Involving African Diasporic Publics.” Transforming Anthropology. Vol. Number 0, pp. 1-26, ISSN 1051-0559, electronic ISSN 1548-7466. The American Anthropological Association. | PDF

Clarke, Kamari M. “The Urgency of New Historiographies in International Relations.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Vol. 36. Issue 1, pp 213-219 | PDF

Clarke, Kamari Maxine.  “Refiguring the perpetrator: culpability, history and international criminal law’s impunity gap.” The International Journal of Human Rights 19 (5): 592-614. | PDF

with Sarah-Jane Koulen. “The Legal Politics of Article 16: The International Criminal Court, the UN Security Council and Ontologies of Contemporary Compromise.” African Journal of Legal Studies 7(3): 297-319. | PDF

Notes on Cultural Citizenship in the Black Atlantic World. Introduction. Cultural Anthropology 28 (3): 464-474.  | PDF

Assemblages of Experts: The Caribbean Court of Justice and the Modernity of Caribbean Postcoloniality.  Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 17 (2-41): 88-107.  |  PDF

with Deborah Thomas. Globalization and Race: Structures of Inequality, New Sovereignties, and Citizenship in a Neoliberal Era. Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 302-25.  |  PDF

Thoughts on Jean Comaroff’s Political Economy of Zombies. In Religion and Society: Advances in Research 3(1): 26-30.  |  PDF

Kony 2012, The ICC and the Problem with the Peace and Justice Divide. The Annual Ben Ferencz Session: Africa and the International Criminal Court at the 106th American Society of International Law (ASIL) Proceedings of the Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. Pp. 309-313. March 28-30, 2012.  |  PDF

The Rule of Law Through Its Economies of Appearances: The Making of the African Warlord. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies Winter 18(1): 7-40.  |  PDF

Constituting Terms for International Change: Reflecting on Strategies for Women’s Rights. American Society of International Law 10 (March 24-27, 2010): 561-564.  |  PDF

The Politics of Faith and the Limits of Scientific Reason: Tracking the Anthropology of Human Rights and Religion. Religion and Society: Advances in Research 1 (2010): 110–130.  |  PDF

Rethinking Africa through its Exclusions: The Politics of Naming Criminal Responsibility. “Rethinking Africa in the Neoliberal World.” Jean Comaroff, Achille Mbembe, Jesse Shipley. Anthropological Quarterly 83(3): 625–652.  | PDF

Toward a Critically Engaged Ethnographic Practice. Current Anthropology:  A Journal of the Human Sciences. The Wenner Gren Foundation For Anthropological Research 51 (S2): S301-S312.  |  PDF

New Spheres of Transnational Formations: Mobilizations of Humanitarian Diasporas.   Transforming Anthropology18(1): 48-65.  |  PDF

Transnational Yorùbá revivalism and the diasporic politics of heritage. American Ethnologist 34 (4): 721-734.  | PDF

Internationalizing the Statecraft: The ICC, Religious Revivalism, and the Cultural Politics of Genocide. The Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 28 (2): 279-334.  |  PDF

The Globalization of Human Rights. Anthropology News. American Anthropological Association 47(5): 5.  |  PDF

Governmentality, Modernity, and the Historical Politics of Oyo-Hegemony in Yoruba Transnational Revivalism.  Anthropologica: The Journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society. Volume 44-42: 271-293. PDF

In Preparation

The Anthropology of Law and Emotion IN Oxford Handbook of Law & Anthropology. Editors: Marie-Claire Foblets, Mark Goodale, Maria Sapignoli and Olaf Zenker. Oxford University Press.

Toward a Theory of Practice in International Law: African State Withdrawals from Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. Editors: Jens Meierhenrich, IN Toward a Social Theory of International Law. “Cambridge Studies in Law and Society.” Cambridge University Press.

Transitional Justice through the Institutionalization of Emotional Affects IN The Oxford Handbook of Transitional Justice. Editors: Jens Meierhenrich, Alexander Laban Hinton, and Lawrence Douglas. Oxford University Press; London


“Peace and ‘Justice’ Sequencing in Management of Violence in the Malabo Protocol for the African Court.” IN African Court Compendium. Editors Charles Jalloh, Kamari Clarke, Vincent Nmehielle. Cambridge University Press.


“Afterward: Re-situating In-Justice” IN Pursuing Justice in Africa. Editors Karekwaivanane and Jessica Johnson. Ohio University Press; Athens.
2018 “Violence.” In Critical Terms for African Studies. Editors Gaurav Desai and V.Y. Mudimbe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


“Rethinking Liberal Legality Through the African Court of Justice and Human Rights: Resituating Economic Crimes and Other Enablers of Violence” IN International Criminal Law in Context. Editor Phillip Kastner. Routledge.


“History and Sentimentality in Rule of Law Movements” IN Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice. Editor Kamari Clarke, Abel Knottnerous and Eefje de Volder. Cambridge/London: Cambridge University Press.

“Looking Forward, Anticipating Challenges: Making Sense of Disjunctures in Meanings of Culpability.” IN The International Criminal Court in Africa: One decade on. Editor Evelyn Ankumah. Intersentia Press. ISBN 978-1-78068-417-8 I Pp. xxxviii- 676.

“Why Africa?” IN Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court. Editor Richard H. Steinberg. Brill Nijhoff. Leiden: Boston.

“Transnational Ifa: The Readings of the Year and the Contemporary Economies of Orisa Religious Knowledge” IN Ifa Divination, Knowledge, Power and Performance. Editors Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. Abiodun. Indiana University Press. Bloomington. pp. 260-273.


“‘We Ask For Justice, You Give us Law’: The Rule of Law, Economic Markets and the Reconfiguration of Victimhood. Chapter 11.” IN Contested Justice: The Politics and Practice of International Criminal Court Interventions. Editors Christian De Vos, Sara Kendall and Carsten Stahn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp 272-301.


(with Deborah Thomas). Globalizing Race IN Race: Are We So Different? Edited by Alan H. Goodman, Yolanda T. Moses, and Joseph Jones. Pp. 235-237. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell Publishing.

Toward a Critically Engaged Ethnographic Practice IN Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge. Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Clarke. Pp. 137-159. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

(with Rebecca Hardin). Introduction IN Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge. Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Clarke. Pp. 3-36. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.


The Cultural Aesthetics of Sàngó Africanization IN Sango in the African and African Diaspora. Pp. 213-232. Edited by Joel E. Tishken,, Toyin Falola and Akintunde Akinyemi.

Oyotunji Village: A Movement in the Making IN African American Religious Culture Encyclopedia Project. BC-CLIO World Religions Project


The International Criminal Court: A Path to International Justice? IN Paths to International Justice: Social and Legal Perspectives. Edited by Marie-Bénédicte Dembour and Toby Kelly. Pp. 134-160. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ritual Change and the Changing Canon. Divinatory Legitimization of Yorùbá Ancestral Roots in Oyotunji African Village IN Òrìşà Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorùbá Religious CultureEdited by Jacob Kẹhinde Olupona and Terry Rey. Pp. 286-319. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.


Mapping Transnationality:  Roots Tourism and the Institutionalization of Ethnic Heritage IN Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness.   Edited by M. Kamari Clarke and Deborah Thomas. Pp. 133-153. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Yoruba Aesthetics and the Making of Trans-Atlantic Imaginaries IN Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics.  Edited by Sarah Nuttall. Pp. 290-315. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Yoruba Aesthetics and the Making of Trans-Atlantic Imaginaries IN African Aesthetics: Essays on Beauty and Ugliness.  Edited by Sarah Nuttall. Amsterdam: The Prince Claus Fund; London: Phaidon; South Africa: Kwela Books.


To Reclaim Yoruba Traditions is to Reclaim the Gods of Africa: Reflections on the Uses of Ethnography and History in Yoruba Revivalism IN Feminist Fields: Ethnographic Insights. Edited by Rae Anderson, Sally Cole, and Heather Howard-Bobiwash. Pp. 229- 242. Broadview Press: Peterborough.

2019 In Opinio Juris on Phil Clark’s ‘Distant Justice.’ | LINK

2015 Clarke, Kamari Maxine. “Power Politics and Its Global Shadows: From Margins to Center.” Review of Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics by James G. Stewart. New York: Oxford University Press. Online Symposium: Whither the International Criminal Court.  |  PDF

2014  Clarke, Kamari. M. “Accountability and the Expansion of the Criminal Jurisdiction of the African Court.Arguendo Roundtable (online). American Bar Association  | PDF

2014 Clarke, Kamari M. 2014. “Justice Can’t Prevail in a Vacuum.” New York Times, Opinion Pages, Room for Debate. December 11, 2014.  |  LINK

2013 Clarke KM. “Treat Greed in Africa as a War Crime.” New York Times, Jan. 29, OpEd pp. A27 | PDF

2013 How Police Use Religion to Deceive Suspects. Huffington Post. 3/21/2013 | PDF

2013 “Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) targeting Africa inappropriately?” UCLA School of Law Debates.March 2013-July 2013. | LINK

2012 Kony 2012, the ICC & peace/justice divide, Part one of two. May 18, 2012  |  PDF

2012 Attending to the language of justice. Part two of two. May 19, 2012  |  PDF

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