BiographyElisa Giunchi is associate professor of History and Institutions of Islamic Countries and History and Politics of North Africa and the Middle East at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy . She earned her MPhil in Islamic studies and her PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is also associate senior research fellow at ISPI , where she coordinates the programme on South Asia. She has authored several articles for Italian and foreign academic journals and written and edited books. Among the books she edited recently are: Muslim family law in Western courts, Routledge, 2014; and Adjudicating family law in Muslim courts, Routledge, 2013. Her most recent articles are: “Islamization and judicial activism in Pakistan: what šarīʻah?”, Oriente Moderno, vol. 93, n. 1, 2013; and “The reinvention of the sharī‘a under the British Raj: In search for authenticity and certainty”, Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 68, n. 4, 2010. “Ethnic strife and democratization in Pakistan: some observations on concepts, measurements and the importance of history”, Quaderni Asiatici, XXXI, n. 106, 2014; “The Durand Line: an historical perspective”, Internationales Asienform, vol. 44, n. 1-2, 2013; “Democratic Transition and Social Spending: the case of Pakistan in the 1990s”, Democratization, vol. 18, n. 6, December 2011, 1270-1290. Her areas of research are the interpretation of Islamic law by the judiciary in the contemporary world, with a focus on Pakistan, the origins and implications of the Durand Line dispute, and a critical assessment of studies on democratization in the Muslim world.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Islam and gender studies
Interpretation of Islamic law by the judiciary
Published: May 05, 2013 by Internationales Asienform
Subjects: History, Asian Studies
The origins of the Durand Line are one of the most under-researched aspects of the border dispute. Unanswered questions include: Was the 1893 border agreement signed under duress, as Afghan authorities and Pashtun nationalists hold? If not, why did Amir Abdur Rahman sign it? In this paper I will address these questions on the basis of archival sources, memoirs and government documents.
Published: Mar 03, 2013 by Oriente Moderno
Subjects: Religion, Asian Studies
Since the late 1970s, Pakistani courts applied uncodified šarīʿah principles to supplement and, at times, contradict codified law, particularly in the field of family matters and sexual crimes. On the basis of court records, the author reviews first, the religious sources referred to by the judges and, second, the implications of their religiously inspired “judicial activism”, with a focus on the interaction between the Zinā Ordinance and the Muslim Family Law Ordinance.
Published: May 11, 2010 by Journal of Asian Studies
Subjects: History, Religion, Asian Studies
Influenced by Orientalist assumptions and Utilitarian ideals, the East India Company selected among varied religious texts a set of norms and tried to apply them consistently to Indian Muslims. The results of their efforts distorted the meaning of Hanafi fiḳh. A review of case studies in Pakistan, however, suggests that the flexibility that characterized the enforcement of Islamic law in precolonial India is still to be found in legal practice