Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and the Diasporas contributes to the already heated debate about legal pluralism and the ontology of law by shifting the attention toward the relationship between what is treated as law and its impact on governance at the fora of dispute resolution. This book addresses sensitive issues such as gender rights and alternative dispute resolution in India, Hindu and Muslim personal laws in South Asia and in Europe, cross-border white violence, the change to Islamic legal traditions under Western domination, women’s inheritance in Pakistan and in the disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan, indigenous rights and resistance at the India-Bangladesh border, and customary laws of nomadic groups in India. The authors deploy a variety of views that point at the pros and cons of legal pluralism and also integrates its opponents. They show how constructions of identity, religion, and power have historically informed the conceptualisation of secularism which may be an ideal, sometimes able to provide for perceptions of accountable governance, but also generating dividing worldviews.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Religious personal laws as non-state laws: implications for gender justice 3. Legal monism and white violence in South Asia 4. Governance and governability in South Asian family laws and in diaspora 5. In pursuit of the pagans: Muslim law in the English context 6. The “women’s court” in India: an alternative dispute resolution body for women in distress 7. Daughters’ inheritance, legal pluralism, and governance in Pakistan 8. Harmony ideology revisited: spatial geographies of hegemony and disputing strategies amongst the Santal 9. Legal pluralism in discourse: justice, politics and marginality in rural Rajasthan, India
Livia Holden (Ma and MPhil – Paris 10, PhD – SOAS University of London) is an anthropologist of law with long-term experience of fieldwork in India and in Pakistan. She is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the Karakoram International University in Gilgit Baltistan.