The Consultative Committee
The consultative committee is a group of scholars who, with their expertise and long-standing experience in the department’s areas of research, support its research agenda. All of them are well versed in the study of law and cultural diversity in contemporary settings, whether as anthropologists or as jurists - or in some cases both. They have a special interest, each in their own way, in the three priorities that the department has adopted for its activities: (1) issues of applied anthropology, i.e. on the purposes, dilemmas and problems linked to expertise and consultancy work; (2) the comparison and comparability of concepts, procedures, institutions, etc., within and across normative legal orders; and (3) the increased interconnectedness of law and religion in the contemporary world.
Markus Böckenförde is currently Executive Director of the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (University Duisburg-Essen) and a regular Visiting Professor at the Central European University (CEU), Budapest. In 2011 and 2012, he was the Head of the Advisory Team to the Policy Planning staff at the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bonn-Berlin) as well as a Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE, Bonn). From 2009 to 2011 he was Programme Officer and temporarily Acting Programme Manager for the Constitution Building Project at International IDEA, Stockholm, Sweden. Between 2001 and 2008 Markus Böckenförde was the Head of Africa Projects and a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) in Heidelberg. In 2006 and 2007, he was seconded by the German Foreign Office to the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) in Sudan as its legal expert in the course of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
He holds a law degree and a PhD from the University of Heidelberg, a Master of Laws degree from the University of Minnesota, and the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in political science (University of Freiburg). He has been involved in various constitution-building processes, including in Afghanistan, Nepal, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, and Libya, working in part with the relevant constitutional assemblies. He has published widely in the areas of international law, constitutional law, and constitution building and is the co-author of International IDEA’s Practical Guide to Constitution Building, which has been translated into Arabic, Myanmar, and Vietnamese. His principal research interest is constitution-building processes from both a procedural and substantive perspective, which entails working in the respective fields of comparative constitutional law, legal pluralism, law and development, and international law. His most recent publication is ‘From Constructive Ambiguity to Harmonious Interpretation: Religion-Related Provisions in the Tunisian Constitution’ (American Behavioral Scientist, 2016).
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John R. Bowen
John R. Bowen is the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and recurrent Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. He has been studying Islam and society in Indonesia since the late 1970s, and since 2001 has worked in France, England, and North America on problems of pluralism, law, and religion, and in particular on contemporary efforts to rethink Islamic norms and civil law.
His most recent book on Asia is Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning (Cambridge, 2003). His Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves (Princeton, 2007) concerned current debates in France on Islam and laïcité. Can Islam be French? (Princeton, 2009) treated Muslim debates and institutions in France and appeared in French in 2011. A New Anthropology of Islam from Cambridge and Blaming Islam from MIT Press appeared in 2012. He also writes regularly for The Boston Review. His current two research projects concern sharia and civil law in England, and Islamic courts and property disputes in Indonesia.
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Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens is Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Université de Montréal and Canada Research Chair in North American and Comparative Juridical and Cultural Identities. He has also taught at the faculties of law of the University of Toronto and of McGill University, in addition to having been visiting professor at different universities outside of Canada (Aix-Marseille, Sciences Po, Case Western). His teaching and research interests are constitutional law (domestic and comparative), civil liberties, legal theory and epistemology, and the sociology of legal cultures.
His work currently focuses on the legal treatment of religious claims in multicultural liberal societies, on the relations between the civil law and common law traditions in a globalized economy, and on the legal theory of federalism. He is a member of the Québec and Ontario Bars. He serves as the Canadian correspondent for the British journal Public Law.
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Anthony Good is Professor Emeritus in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was Head of the School of Social & Political Science until his retirement in 2009. His initial ethnographic research in Tamil Nadu, South India, concerned family and kinship, and subsequent field research in a Hindu temple was concerned with the ceremonial economy linking gods, priests and worshippers. He has acted as a senior consultant for the Department for International Development, and frequently acts as an expert witness in asylum appeals in the UK, the USA and Canada, mainly involving Sri Lankan Tamils. Since 2000 he has been carrying out ESRC and AHRC-funded research into uses of expert evidence in the British asylum courts, and (with Robert Gibb) into the asylum processes in the UK and France.
He is the author of Research Practices in the Study of Kinship (1984; with Alan Barnard); The Female Bridegroom: A Comparative Study of Life-Crisis Rituals in South India and Sri Lanka (1991); Worship and the Ceremonial Economy of a Royal South Indian Temple (2004); and Anthropology and Expertise in the Asylum Courts (2007).
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Mark Goodale is Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Lausanne and the founding Series Editor of Stanford Studies in Human Rights. He conducts ethnographic research on law, social and political change, and culture and is the author or editor of twelve books, including Anthropology and Law: A Critical Introduction (NYU Press, 2017), UNESCO Surveys the World: A Prehistory of Human Rights (ed., forthcoming with Stanford UP, 2018), Human Rights at the Crossroads (ed., Oxford UP, 2012), Mirrors of Justice: Law and Power in the Post-Cold War Era (with Kamari Maxine Clarke, Cambridge UP, 2010), Surrendering to Utopia: An Anthropology of Human Rights (Stanford UP, 2009), Dilemmas of Modernity: Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism (Stanford UP, 2008), and The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law Between the Global and the Local (with Sally Engle Merry, Cambridge UP, 2007). He is currently working on a study of law, ideology, and social change in Bolivia based on several years of research funded by the US National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
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Michele Graziadei is professor of comparative law at the University of Torino. His research concentrates on the methodology of comparative law, legal pluralism, law and language, and on other theoretical problems relating to the comparison of laws. He has published widely in several languages, and has directed or taken part to international research projects concerning law and other social sciences.
Prof. Graziadei is titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Vice President of the Italian Society for Research on Comparative Law (SIRD), President of the Italian Group of the Association Capitant, and fellow of the European Centre on Tort and Insurance Law, Vienna. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, Université de Luxembourg, and Bar-Ilan University, and is visiting Professor at the Université Jean Moulin, Lyon III. He teaches at the Faculté internationale de droit comparé, Strasbourg.
His publications include: "Financial Collateral Arrangements: Directive 2002/47/EC, and the Many Faces of Reasonableness", Uniform Law Review, 2012, 497; "Children’s Rights: The Law's Uncertain Search For Principle and the Relevance of Cross-Cultural Thinking". in G. Cortese (ed.), Reflections on Children’s Rights - Marginalised Identities in the Discourse(s) of Justice, Polimetrica, 2011, 187-202; and "Language and Terminology", in Christian Twigg-Flesner (ed.), Cambridge Companion to European Union Private Law, Cambridge University Press, 2010, 70 ff. (with S. Ferreri and G. Danneman).
Dirk Hanschel is Professor of German, European, and International Public Law at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He joined the law school in 2015, having previously worked as a reader at the University of Aberdeen. Much of his work focuses on public international law and comparative constitutional law, in particular with regard to environmental and human rights issues as well as comparative federalism. Publications include the monographs Verhandlungslösungen im Umweltvölkerrecht (Boorberg 2003), based on his doctoral thesis, and Konfliktlösung im Bundesstaat (Mohr Siebeck 2012), based on his Habilitation thesis. During his time in Scotland he examined legal concepts of regional autonomy and self-determination within the context of pressing devolution and independence debates. His current research focuses on, inter alia, the interconnections of environmental protection and individual rights, in particular in light of climate change. This interest is reflected in his inaugural lecture on climate refugees in international law in May 2016, published in ZAR (Zeitschrift für Ausländerrecht und Ausländerpolitik, 2017).
Dirk Hanschel holds a German law degree from the University of Heidelberg, a doctoral degree from the University of Mannheim, and a Master of Comparative Law (Mannheim/Adelaide), all with distinction. He completed his two-year practical training period at Oberlandesgericht Zweibrücken and his Habilitation at the University of Mannheim. He has taught and conducted research at a wide range of German and international universities, the latter including the European University Institute, the University of Melbourne, the University of Connecticut and, in particular, the University of Aberdeen.
Dirk Hanschel is a member of the Association of German Constitutional Lawyers, the German Society of International Law, and the German Society of Comparative Law.
René Kuppe, trained in law and cultural anthropology, is a professor at the Law School of the University of Vienna, where he is the coordinator of the Optional Programme ‘Indigenous Legal Studies’. He also teaches law and anthropology to students of cultural anthropology, international development studies and history at the University of Vienna. His research deals with the translation of interests and claims of indigenous peoples into the logic and concepts of (official) state law and the legal protection of indigenous sacred landscapes or sites, especially in North America and the Arctic region.
In the early 2000s, he was the coordinator of a legal cooperation project, funded by the German GTZ, advising the Commission on Indigenous Rights of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela. From 2006 to 2008, under an EU-funded project, he helped develop models of participation of indigenous peoples of Latin America in the implementation of land and territorial rights. Over the last decade, Kuppe has been participating in legal consultation projects in Andean countries involving the implementation of the indigenous rights to consultation and the coordination of indigenous and state jurisdictions.
Maleiha Malik is a Professor in Law at King's College London. She studied law at the University of London and University of Oxford. She is a barrister and a member and fellow of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. Maleiha Malik’s research focuses on the theory and practice of discrimination law. She has written extensively on discrimination law, minority protection and feminist theory. She is the co-author of a leading text titled Discrimination Law: Theory and Practice which was published in 2008. She is, along with Dr Jon Wilson from the Department of History at KCL, the co-ordinator of the AHRC project on ‘Traditions in the Present’ which explores the relevance of ‘tradition’ in contemporary societies.
Maleiha Malik's current research focuses on the intersection between sexual and cultural equality, and it explores the adjustments that may need to be made to feminist theory to accommodate increasing cultural pluralism. She teaches courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Discrimination Law and European Law to undergraduates and postgraduate students.
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Werner Menski, MA PhD is Professor Emeritus of South Asian Laws in the School of Law at SOAS, University of London. He is specialised in both Muslim and Hindu law, especially in the issues of personal status and family affairs, in migration, and in the relations between law, religion and culture. He has also published widely on comparative research on legal systems in Asia and Africa.
He obtained an interdisciplinary MA from the University of Kiel in Germany in 1977 and then taught South Asian Studies at Bochum University in 1977-1980 before relocating to London, where he obtained his PhD in Hindu Law in 1984. At SOAS, he has taught South Asian Laws, Comparative Legal Theory, Ethnic Minorities and the Law, and Family Law since 1981 and has been Professor of South Asian Laws since 2004.
Werner Menski has published over 200 articles since 1980 and his major books are: Islamic Family Law (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd ed. 1998, with David Pearl); Modern Indian Family Law (Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001); Hindu Law. Beyond Tradition and Modernity (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003); Comparative Law in a Global Context: The Legal Systems of Asia and Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed. 2006). He has been the editor of South Asia Research (New Delhi: SAGE) since 2004 and is a member of numerous editorial advisory boards. A Visiting Professor at several South Asian universities, he also maintains close links with universities in Japan and continental Europe.
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Sally Engle Merry
Sally Engle Merry is Silver Professor and Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She is also Associate Department Chair, Faculty Co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the New York University School of Law, and past president of the American Ethnological Society. She received the Hurst Prize for Colonizing Hawai‘i in 2002, the Kalven Prize for scholarly contributions to sociolegal scholarship in 2007, and the J.I. Staley Prize for Human Rights and Gender Violence in 2010. In 2013 she received an honorary degree from McGill School of Law and was the focus of an Author Colloquium at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF) at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. She is an adjunct professor at Australian National University.
She is the author or editor of fifteen books and special journal issues and over one hundred and twenty-five articles and reviews. Her recent books include Colonizing Hawai‘i (Princeton, 2000), Human Rights and Gender Violence (Chicago, 2006), Gender Violence: A Cultural Perspective (Blackwells, 2009) and The Practice of Human Rights, (co-edited with Mark Goodale; Cambridge, 2007). Her forthcoming book, The Seductions of Quantification: Measuring Human Rights, Violence against Women, and Sex Trafficking (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) examines indicators as a technology of knowledge used for human rights monitoring and global governance.
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Ralf Michaels, the Arthur Larson Professor at Duke Law School, is a widely respected scholar of private international law, comparative law, and the legal theory of globalization. Michaels, a graduate of the law schools of the Universities of Passau and Cambridge, has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Panthéon/Assas (Paris II), Princeton, Pennsylvania, Toronto, and the London School of Economics, and a senior fellow at Harvard and Princeton, as well as at the American Academy in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Michaels is a member of the American Law Institute and the Comparative Law Associations of the United States, Germany, and France, among other professional organizations. The main focus of Michaels’s research lies on problems of the plurality of laws under conditions of globalization. A specific focus of his work is the role of non-state law. In 2016, he taught a course on non-state law in private international law at the Hague Academy for International Law.
David Nelken is Professor of Comparative & Transnational Law in Context, and Head of Research of The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London. From 1995 to 2013 he was Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Cardiff University, and since 2010 he has been the Visiting Professor of Criminology at Oxford University.
Nelken writes mainly about Social Theory and Law (e.g. Beyond Law in Context, Ashgate, 2009); Comparative Legal Culture (e.g. Comparing Legal Cultures, Dartmouth, 1996, Adapting Legal Cultures, Hart, 2000, and Using Legal Culture, Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 2012); and Comparative and Transnational Criminology (e.g. Comparative Criminal Justice: Making Sense of Difference, Sage, 2010, and Comparative Criminal Justice and Globalization, Ashgate, 2011).
He received a Distinguished Scholar award from the American Sociological Association in 1985, and the 'Sellin-Glueck' career award in 2009 from the American Society of Criminology. In 2009 he was made an Academician of the UK Academy of the Social Sciences, and in 2011 was awarded the 'Adam Podgórecki' career prize by the International Sociological Association (RCSL).
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Alison Dundes Renteln
Alison Dundes Renteln is a Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Law, and Public Policy at the University of Southern California where she teaches Law and Public Policy with an emphasis on comparative and international law. A graduate of Harvard (History and Literature), she has a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law. Her publications include The Cultural Defense (Oxford, 2004), Folk Law (University of Wisconsin, 1995), Multicultural Jurisprudence (Hart, 2009), and Cultural Law (Cambridge, 2010), and Global Bioethics and Human Rights (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) and numerous articles. She has taught judges, lawyers, court interpreters, jury consultants, and police officers at meetings of the American Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, North American South Asian Bar Association, and the American Society of Trial Consultants. Renteln has also collaborated with the UN on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, lectured on comparative legal ethics in Bangkok and Manila at ABA-sponsored conferences, and served on California civil rights commissions and a California committee of Human Rights Watch. In Fall 2013 she was a Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences where she conducted research on incentives for civic engagement including the legal duty to rescue. In Spring 2014 she was a Human Rights Fellow at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. She gathered data on the use of images in human rights and humanitarian campaigns. Her current research is at the intersection between sociolegal studies and sensory studies.
Professor Renteln is working with colleagues at USC to set up a Human Rights Center to sponsor collaborative research, bring speakers (human rights defenders, UN officials, and government officials) to campus and give students internship experiences abroad.
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Mathias Rohe has studied law and Islamic sciences in Tübingen and Damaskus. After having finished his master in Islamic sciences, his PhD and his habilitation in law at Tübingen University, he was appointed full professor (chair for Private Law, Private International law and Comparative Law) at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. He is also member of the German Islamkonferenz run by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and member of the board of trustees of the Near and Far East Association (NUMOV) and of several inter-religious organisations. He has given several hundreds of lectures on issues relating to Islam and the law in Europe at universities and other scientific institutions from Harvard to Tokyo. He has given many expert opinions to German parliaments and policy advice to several governments.
In December 2011, Prof. Rohe was appointed as Special Delegate of the University President to coordinate the Academic Advisory Board of the recently established Department for Islamic/Religious Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg, one of four similar departments in Germany which have been established in 2011 with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
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Ayelet Shachar is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, where she heads the Ethics, Law, and Politics Department at the Institute. Before joining the Max Planck Society, Shachar held the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism at the University of Toronto Faculty Law, and was also the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. She earned her LL.M. and J.S.D from Yale University.
She has published and lectured widely on citizenship theory, immigration law, multiculturalism, cultural diversity and women’s rights, law and religion in comparative perspective, highly skilled migration and global inequality. Shachar is the author of Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights (Cambridge, 2001), for which she won the American Political Science Association 2002 Foundations of Political Theory Section Best First Book Award. This work has inspired a new generation of thinking about how to best mitigate tensions between gender equality and religious diversity. It has also proved influential in the real world, influencing public policy and legislative debates. It was cited, most recently, by England’s Archbishop of Canterbury and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Her book The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality (Harvard, 2009) was named 2010 International Ethics Notable Book in recognition of its “superior scholarship and contribution to the field of international ethics.” She is the recipient of excellence and research awards in three different countries: Canada, Israel, and the United States. Before entering academia, Shachar was law clerk to Chief Justice Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. She is an elected member of the editorial board of six peer-reviewed journals in her field and has provided pro-bono advice to non-governmental organizations specializing in citizenship, immigration and religious toleration, as well as the World Bank.
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Christian Tietje is Professor (tenure) for European Law and International Economic Law, director of the Institute for Economic Law, director of the Transnational Economic Law Research Center (TELC), and head of the graduate program “Global Financial Markets” (www.gfinm.de) at the Faculty of Law at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. His primary research interests lay in the areas of EU foreign commercial policy law and international economic law (world trade law and investment protection and arbitration).
Christian Tietje received his legal education at the Universities of Kiel/Germany, Paris V, and University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor. He holds two German law degrees with distinction from 1993/1998, was awarded the degree of Master of Laws with distinction in 1995, and received his Dr. jur. (Ph.D.) with distinction in 1997, and his Dr. jur. habil. in 2000.
He has published several books and more than 100 articles, mostly on international economic law, and has commissioned and managed several larger research projects (DFG, Stiftung Geld und Währung, German Marshall Fund, etc.). Moreover, he has advised Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, business associations and multilateral companies in the above mentioned research areas. He has been appointed legal expert in several investment arbitrations, is leading a working group of the investment law committee of the German branch of the International Law Association (ILA) dealing with the relationship of international investment law and general public international law, and is a member of the “ILA Study Group on the Role of Soft Law Instruments in International Investment Law”.
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Nadjma Yassari, born 1971 in Teheran, Iran, studied law at the Universities of Vienna, Paris and Innsbruck (1989-95). In 1998 she was conferred a Master of International Business Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Her doctorate was awarded in 1999 at the University of Innsbruck based on her work titled: “The Concept of Freedom of Contract in Islamic and Western Legal Cultures”. This was followed in 2000-2001 with the study of Arabic at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Damascus, Syria.
In February 2000 Nadjma Yassari assumed her activities as research fellow responsible for the law of Islamic countries at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The emphasis of her research is on the international and national private law of Islamic countries in the Near and Middle East as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2009 she is the Leader of a Max Planck Research Group on Family and Succession Law of Islamic Countries.
She is past chairperson of the German-Iranian Law Association (DIJV), and a member of the board of trustees of the Association for Arabic and Islamic Law (GAIR). From 2006-2010 she was a member of the German-Islam Conference of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Additionally, Dr. Yassari provides German courts with expert opinions on the family and succession laws of Islamic countries.
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Vladimiro Zagrebelsky is director of the Fundamental Rights Laboratory (LDF) in Torino (Italy) and a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights (2001-2010). Born in Torino in 1940, he graduated in Law from the University of Torino (1963), where he became adjunct professor (Libero docente) of Criminal Law in 1970. From 1965 to 2001, he worked as a public prosecutor and judge in Italy and was appointed Judge of the Italian Corte di Cassazione in 2000. He was also a member of the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura (Italian Superior Judicial Council) in the years 1981 to 1985 and 1994 to 1998. He served as head of the Legislative Office of the Italian Ministry of Justice (1998-2001) and as chairman of the United Nations Commission for the Prevention of Crime (Vienna, 2000-2001). He has also chaired and been a member of several Ministerial Committees.
Dr Zagrebelsky has published several works in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, the Judiciary, and Human Rights, such as La magistratura ordinaria dalla Costituzione a oggi, Legge, Diritto, Giustizia, Torino, Einaudi, 1998; “Corte, convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo e sistema europeo di protezione dei diritti fondamentali”, in La Corte costituzionale compie cinquant’anni, Foro italiano, 2006; “Questions autour de Bromiowski”, in Liber Amicorum Luzius Wildhaber. Human Rights – Strasbourg Views. Droits de l’homme – Regards de Strasbourg, Kehl-Strasbourg-Arlington, N.P. Engel, 2007; Diritti dell’Uomo e Libertà Fondamentali. La giurisprudenza della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo e della Corte di giustizia delle Comunità europee, 3 vols, Milano, Giuffrè ed., 2006-2008 (with M. de Salvia); “L’avvenire del sistema europeo di protezione dei diritti umani affidato per ora al Protocollo n. 14 bis”, Diritti umani e diritto internazionale, 3 (2009): 469-74; “Considérations sur les sources d’inspiration et la motivation des arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme”, Festschrift für Renate Jaeger. Grundrechte und Solidarität, N.P. Engel Verlag, Kehl am Rhein, 2010, p.211-224; Commentario breve alla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo, Padova, Cedam, 2012 (with S. Bartole and P. De Sena).
Olaf Zenker is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). After earning master’s degrees in Social Anthropology (LSE) and Linguistics & Literature (University of Hamburg), he did his PhD at the Integration and Conflict Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Martin Luther University in Halle in 2008, and subsequently became a post-doctoral fellow in the Max Planck Fellow Group Law, Organisation, Science and Technology (LOST). In 2009, he joined the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern as Assistant Professor, where he also held an Ambizione Research Fellowship (SNSF) from 2012 to 2014, and received his Habilitation in Social Anthropology in 2015. Apart from Visiting Fellowships at the Departments of Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa), and the University of Cambridge (UK) as well as at the Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University (USA), he taught social anthropology at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Cologne, and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, before joining the University of Fribourg in 2017. Focusing on Southern Africa, Northern Ireland and Germany, his research has dealt with political and legal issues such as statehood, the rule of law, plural normative orders, modernity, conflict and identity formations, as well as sociolinguistics and anthropological epistemologies. Besides numerous articles, his recent co-edited and authored books include: The State and the Paradox of Customary Law in Africa (Routledge, 2018); South African Homelands as Frontiers: Apartheid’s Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era (Routledge, 2017); Transition and Justice: Negotiating the Terms of New Beginnings in Africa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015); Irish/ness Is All Around Us: Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland (Berghahn Books, 2013); and Beyond Writing Culture: Current Intersections of Epistemologies and Representational Practices (Berghahn Books, 2010).
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