Political activism and the PAH (Platform of Mortgage Victims) in Spain: the significance of Franz von Benda-Beckmann's work for the study of power, political agency and legal pluralism at the grassroots

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Abstract

This article looks at the contribution of Franz von Benda-Beckmann to the analysis of
political agency at the grassroots, especially the ways in which people at the margins
and political activists contest existing structures of power. It examines in particular
the relevance of von Benda-Beckmann’s approach for the analysis of the PAH
(Platform of Mortgage Victims) in Spain, a social movement that stands up against the wave of house evictions as a result of the economic crisis and the collapse of the housing market.
It is argued that people who have a contested relation with existing structures of
power express normative values that differ from state rules. This makes legal
anthropology in general, and von Benda-Beckmann’s approach of legal pluralism in particular, very relevant to this area of study. Von Benda-Beckmann’s thoughts about law and legal pluralism are discussed in relation to grassroots politics. The values of his ideas are highlighted as well as analytical points of departure from his views.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-492
JournalJournal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2015

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