Cultural Conflicts

Annelise Riles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


It is no secret that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the prevailing doctrinal approaches to conflict of laws in the United States. The 'methodologies' for resolving conflicts problems that compete for judicial attention in the United States coexist uneasily in the Second Restatement, since none has managed to garner sufficient support, and each has been the subject of extensive scholarly and judicial criticism. This chapter suggests that the general dissatisfaction with conflicts as a field in the United States, and its failure to live up to its larger promise, may stem in part from the fact that doctrines and theories fail to address what our moral intuition tells us that conflict problems are about. It takes as its primary example a case of cultural conflict between Native American legal norms and US state and federal law. The conflict between Native American and settler culture is foundational to the political and legal system of which US conflicts is a part, and is arguably the silent background against which questions of the politics of cultural recognition are entertained, defined, or rejected in US cultural, political, and legal life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Legal Issues
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191723025
ISBN (Print)9780199580910
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Anthropology
  • Cultural conflicts
  • Federal law
  • Native Americans
  • Settlers
  • US law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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