Research Interests
Concepts of diversity, political and legal anthropology, critical theory, transformation processes, international law, human rights

Research Area(s) (=geographical area(s))
Eastern Europe (Romania); West Africa/Central Africa


Frederike Silvana Nun studied social anthropology, sociology, and political sciences (in all cases also with a minor concentration in law) at the universities of Bayreuth, Heidelberg, and Leuven. In her studies she focused on transformation processes in law and society, legal pluralism, identity and belonging, state border dynamics, law and development, and international law. Thus far her studies have focused on Africa, but she is now directing her research interests towards Romania.

In her doctoral research, Nun investigates pluralism and diversity in Romania in the context of the country’s integration and membership in the European Union. In addition to analysing these transformation processes, she wants to learn how diversity is understood in Romania, regulated by law, and negotiated in courts and in society more broadly. Nun therefore follows questions such as how lawyers and judges are trained in this field and how they deal with, apply, and interpret law in this regard. It is not only legal actors who are involved in the mediation of these rights, however; NGOs and other actors in civil society are also players in these negotiation processes and are, therefore, important points of departure for this dissertation research.

Why Law & Anthropology?

To understand law in its diversity – as inherent to processes of constant negotiation and interpretation and embedded in multi-layered contexts involving different actors and legal orders – empirically based research is indispensable. Combining law – as an integral part of everyday life – and anthropology – with its interest in everyday routines and daily practices – can lead to an enriching dialogue that allows us to observe, identify, and reflect on different understandings and meanings of law, legal practices, and legal knowledge. Through my research I aim to contribute to knowledge regarding how the perceptions, interpretations, and interests of actors working and dealing with diversity issues are negotiated in the legal field.

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