Latif Tas

C.V. | Publications | Current Project

Research Interests
Legal anthropology, comparative politics, transnationalism, citizenship, migration, diaspora mobilization, gender, social movements, conflict and peace processes

Research Area(s)
Middle East (Turkey, Kurdistan, Syria and Iraq)
Europe (UK, Germany, Belgium)


Latif Tas is an interdisciplinary scholar who has been conducting research on various dimensions of socio-legal, political and armed conflict in the Middle East and Europe since the early 2000s.

Dr. Tas is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow. His new project, which focuses on the politics of justice, transnationalism, and gender in the Middle East and Europe, is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under a Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement (number 703201). His project is hosted by SOAS (University of London), the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Foreign Affairs (Syracuse University, New York), and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle, Germany). This is the first time that these three important institutions have hosted one of these prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowships. Dr. Tas is employing multi-sited and comparative ethnographic studies (in Turkey, the Kurdish regions in the Middle East, and Germany) to expand his earlier research on alternative, ethnic, and religious justice and to examine more closely transnational politics and justice.  This research should result in a monograph that will make an important contribution to our understanding of comparative politics and justice in the Middle East and Europe.

Latif Tas received a PhD in Law from Queen Mary, University of London, in 2012. His PhD thesis provided a historically grounded ethnographic assessment of the politics of multiple laws and the alternative dispute resolution practices of Kurds living in Turkey and the UK. Dr. Tas directly observed around 500 unofficial court processes during his research. His research findings have been published in several high-ranking international journals and his book, Legal Pluralism in Action: Dispute Resolution and the Kurdish Peace Committee, was published by Routledge in 2014. In addition, Dr. Tas teaches in comparative law and politics, secularism, multiculturalism, conflict, and peace processes in the Middle East and Europe.

In 2012-13, Dr. Tas held a post-doctoral research position within the Wissenschaftskolleg, Forum Transregionale Studien at Humboldt University in Berlin. During his time in Germany, he built upon his doctoral studies and extensively researched alternative politics and justice systems in the Middle East and Europe.

In 2014, Dr. Tas was appointed by the University of Oxford as a research fellow and consultant to work on their Diasporas Programme’s project ‘(Re)Conceptualising stateless diasporas in the European Union’. His research examined how statelessness and citizenship regimes have been constructed historically and in present-day contexts. His article about this research, ‘How International Law Impacts on Statelessness and Citizenship: the case of Kurdish nationalism, conflict and peace’, was published in Cambridge University’s International Journal of Law in Context.

In 2015, Dr. Tas was a visiting scholar at the Law and Anthropology Department, Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. During his stay at the MPI his research focused on citizenship, migration, and refugee regimes in the European Union, as well as recent Turkish political developments. Dr. Tas published a number of articles on these themes with Open Democracy in 2015 and 2016.

In 2015 Dr. Tas began a joint research project with Prof. Nadje Al-Ali at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS. Their research examines the gendered dimensions of the Turkish–Kurdish peace negotiations, the relationship between feminism and nationalism, and Kurdish diaspora mobilization. A few articles based on this joint research are in the process of being published.

Before entering academia, Dr Tas worked as a journalist for almost 10 years for various Turkish newspapers. He is a frequent reviewer for a number of journals, including Political Geography, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (MJMES), and Erasmus Law Review.

Why Law & Anthropology?

Justice begins and ends outside of the courtroom and cannot operate in isolation from local and global politics and societal practices. Ethnographic, multidisciplinary research is one way of understanding the development and practices of law and its impact on different ethnic, religious, and socio-economic groups. The need to focus in-depth on multiple geographical contexts while also taking account of the transnational dimension within which multiple laws are performed justifies using a case study approach embracing multiple research methods and data sources. Anthropology is therefore the most appropriate discipline for understanding political and societal justice in action.

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