Anthropology, Karakoram International University, Pakistan


Novembre 2015 à Juin 2016


Prof. Dr. Livia Holden is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science and Chair of the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the Karakoram International University. She holds a Master and an M.Phil from the University of Paris 10 – Nanterre and a PhD in Law and Social Sciences from SOAS-University of London. She has worked at Freie University, Humboldt University, Griffith University and LUMS. She has research affiliations with the Law Department of the University of Otago and with the University of California at Berkeley. She is Visiting Scholar at the European Ethnology Department at Humboldt University and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. Her research focuses on state law, religious law, and mixed sources of law and their implications with gender, human rights and governance in South Asia and in the diasporas. She has provided consultancies and expertise in anthropology of law, anthropology of borders, qualitative research methods, ethics, human rights, institutional development, asylum and immigration related cases in the US and UK courts. She is the author of Hindu Divorce and the editor (and contributor) of Cultural Expertise and Litigation. She has also realized two documentary-films, Runaway Wives and Lady Judges of Pakistan, and contributed with chapters and papers to collected volumes and journals such as the Journal of Legal Pluralism, South Asia Research and the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. Her teaching portfolio includes International Human Rights, Qualitative Research Methods, Mountain Areas and Development, Anthropology of Corruption, Anthropology of Law, South Asian Diasporas, Lawyering and Legal Practice, and Cultural Expertise and Litigation.

Search project

"Justice in Pakistan: state and non-state law"

Pakistan has been at the core of international politics and security studies for more than a decade but little attention was given to the law and the judiciary in respect to governance. Islam, Justice and Governance in Pakistan will fill this gap by providing an unprecedented overview of the practices of law and their rationales on the basis of ethnographic data collected in the four provinces of Pakistan, the capital territory of Islamabad, and the contested territories of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. By delving in the rights and obligations generated from the everyday governance in Pakistan and showing that state and non-state law complement and overlap one another this research will challenge many of the widespread assumptions about the chaos of lawless tribes and no-go areas without however indulging in undue sympathies for a legal setting that should provide a better justice.


2013. « Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and in the Diasporas », Journal of Legal Pluralism Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 1-4.

2011. Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives, London, Routledge.

2008. Hindu Divorce: A Legal Anthropology, Aldershot, Ashgate.


2013. Lady-Judges of Pakistan, avec Marius Holden, documentary-film in English and Urdu with English subtitles, 3 versions (29, 54, and 75 min.), Gold Coast, Insights.

2000. Runaway wives. Customary divorce and remarriage in Shivpuri district (Madhya Pradesh-India), with Marius Holden, Melbourne, Access Studio, 40 min. documentary in Hindi with English subtitles.