Nafay Choudhury



Dr. Nafay Choudhury is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS). Prior to this, he was Jeremy Haworth Junior Research Fellow at St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge.

His work sits at the intersection of socio-legal studies, legal pluralism, economic development, and the rule of law. His research explores the fragmented and plural forms of order that exist within the state, alongside the state, and beyond the state. His current research looks at the role of market associations in providing normative order in fragile settings.

Nafay completed his PhD at King’s College London where he undertook an ethnographic study of Afghanistan’s money exchangers to understand the interaction of state and nonstate legal systems in the production of legal order. Nafay was a Residential Research Fellow for the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School from 2019-2021 and is Senior Research Fellow at the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Law School for the Afghanistan Legal Education Project, concurrently serving as Assistant Professor of Law at the American University of Afghanistan where he helped launch the country’s first English-medium law program. He has received various grants to explore issues of social and legal ordering, economic regulation, and social networks. He led a project supported by the Government of the Netherlands on the distributional effects of property reforms in Kabul’s peri-urban spaces. He holds a JD/BCL (McGill), MA (Queen’s, Canada) in economics, and BA (McGill) in economics. He speaks French, Dari (Afghan Farsi), and Arabic. Nafay is also an avid home cook.

Nafay is currently finalizing his first book project (based on his PhD), forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

Nafay’s writing has been awarded the Socio-Legal Studies Association Article Prize, the Asian Law & Society Association Distinguished Article Award, the Graduate Student Paper Prize by the Law and Society Association, and the Trandafir Writing Competition Award from the Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems journal.


Research Interests

Socio-legal studies, legal pluralism, economic development, rule of law, private law, comparative law, legal anthropology, ethnography, law and economics, empirical studies of law, critical legal studies, economic sociology