C.V. | Publications | Current Project

Research Interests
Normative pluralism, cultural translation of traveling law, religion and law, secular ethics, decentralization, indigenous rights

Research Area(s)
Indonesia, transnational Chinese religious networks, transnational Indian networks, Europe


Martin Ramstedt obtained a Dr. phil. (social and cultural anthropology, social psychology, European ethnology) from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and a Dr. phil. habil. (social and cultural anthropology) from Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, where he is now a member of the Faculty of Philosophy I (social sciences and historical cultural studies).

From 1997 to 2000, he was European Science Foundation research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands, and associated fellow at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying the role of religion in Indonesian constitutionalism, Indonesian state policies on religion, and the construction of Indonesian Hinduism. From 2001 to 2006, he pursued research in the field of religious anthropology at the Meertens Institute, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science Institute for the Ethnology of the Netherlands, in Amsterdam.

Martin Ramstedt joined the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Social Anthropology as senior researcher of the Project Group ‘Legal Pluralism’, directed by Franz and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, in October 2006.  Until the termination of the Project Group in 2012, Ramstedt worked on the linkages between the Indonesian governance reform of 2001, the juridification of customary law communities in post-Suharto Indonesia, and migration into post-New Order Bali. Until February 2014, he was senior researcher at the newly founded Law & Anthropology Department, directed by Marie-Claire Foblets. During that time he mainly focused on two strands of research: (a) legal pluralism and the accommodation of religion in state law, and (b) the cultural translation of Shaolin-Chan Buddhism and its practices into ‘world heritage’.

From March 2014 until February 2015, Ramstedt was a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Law & Culture’ at Bonn University, directed by Werner Gephart. From June until August 2015, he was a fellow at the KITLV-Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. He is currently fellow of the Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Multiple Secularities’ at Leipzig University (until September 2016). He continues to be associate researcher in the Law & Anthropology Department of the MPI in Halle.

Since 2013, Ramstedt regularly teaches the course "Law and Anthropology" at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati, Spain (see video here).

Lecture - Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”

Martin Ramstedt: “Indigeneity” and “Indigenous Rights” in Bali

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