Professor James F. Weiner

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Dialogues between Anthropology, Customary Law and Statute Law in Resource Development Contexts


Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, James F. Weiner


Despite the UK’s international prominence in the natural resource exploration and extraction industries, and the location of these deposits often in remote indigenous and non-western regions, there is presently no UK academic centre able to provide social science expertise and critical commentary in the round. Clearly, mediating between the cultural and linguistic frames of non-western peoples, industry and legal systems (a nexus termed the ‘resource wars’) is no easy matter – yet mediation is also a key social anthropological skill at the heart of this Leverhulme Trust funded project which enabled a leading theoretician and practitioner in the field to make a series of visits to St Andrews amounting to seven months in total. 

The project involved a collaboration with the St Andrews Sustainability Institute (SASI) and the University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mining, Law and Policy (CEPMLP), the leading professional and graduate legal training facility. The project resulted in a series of 8 Leverhulme Lectures, 5 project workshops and conference panels and several publications. The Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship developed CPS’ capacity and anthropological skill base in consultancy and knowledge transfer, and led to new teaching courses at Undergraduate and Masters levels.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”4077″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Visits:

September-December 2008

November-December 2009

July-August 2010


Corporate Social Responsibility in the Mineral Resources Industry, 2008.

Free Prior and Informed Consent, 2009

CEPMLP Mining Seminar, 2010

Land and Law, ESfO 2010 conference panel


  • Weiner, James F. 2011. Foreword. Pacific Studies 34(2/3): 87-91,
  • Weiner, James F. 2011. Conflict in the Statutory Elicitation of Aboriginal Culture in Australia, Anthropological Forum, 21:3, 257-267, DOI: 10.1080/00664677.2011.617676
  • Weiner, James F. 2011. The appropriation of an Aboriginal landscape in northern New South Wales. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22: 189-202. doi:10.1111/j.1757-6547.2011.00133.x
  • Weiner, James F. 2013. The Incorporated What Group: Ethnographic, Economic and Ideological Perspectives on Customary Land Ownership in Contemporary Papua New Guinea, Anthropological Forum, 23:1, 94-106, DOI: 10.1080/00664677.2012.736858