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  • D Bissell, M Bruce, A Tsalapatanis and H Keane, 'Belonging Unbound' in A Tsalapatanis, M Bruce, D Bissell & H Keane (ed), Social Beings; Future Belongings: Reimagining the Social (Routledge 2019)
    ISBN: 978-1-138-70978-2
  • Livia Holden, 'Beyond anthropological expert witnessing: Toward an integrated definition of cultural expertise' (2019) Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Austin Sarat Series
    This chapter explores expert witnessing in anthropology and the raison d’être of cultural expertise as an integrated socio-legal concept that accounts for the contribution of social sciences to the resolution of disputes and the protection of human rights. The first section of this chapter provides a short historical outline of the occurrence and reception of anthropological expertise as expert witnessing. The second section surveys the theoretical reflections on anthropologists’ engagement with law. The third section explores the potential for anthropological expertise as a broader socio-legal notion in the common law and civil law legal systems. The chapter concludes with the opportunity and raison d’être of cultural expertise grounded on a skeptical approach to culture. It suggests that expert witnessing has been viewed mainly from a technical perspective of applied social sciences, which was necessary to set the legal framework of cultural experts’ engagement with law, but had the consequence of entrenching the impossibility of a comprehensive study of anthropological expert witnessing. While this chapter adopts a skeptical approach to culture, it also argues the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach that leads to an integrated definition of cultural expertise.
  • A Tsalapatanis, 'Citizenship' in C. Inglis, B. Khadria & W. Li (ed), The SAGE Handbook of International Migration (SAGE Publications 2019)
    Citizenship plays a considerable role in the lives of individuals, and especially migrants. Conceptions of citizenship are also incredibly diverse having been the subject of considerable policy, scholarly, and vernacular engagement, as well as having undergone significant transformations, emerging differently in different locations and at different times. From abstract level theorisations, to studies that consider its impact in everyday life, this chapter provides a critical review of the development and changing conceptions of citizenship. In order to engage with the topic’s diversity, it will highlight the works of several key theorists, considering core issues and debates, such as those around the definition of the term, analyses of policy trends, and the complex issues around rights. This chapter gives a diverse overview of these developments, while at the same time highlighting the various strengths and limitations of certain approaches, as well as the considerable unevenness that exists between and within citizenship statuses.
    ISBN: 978-1-412-96175-2
  • Livia Holden, 'Cultural Expertise against the Danger of Judicial Populism in Italy: Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, 12.11.2009, no. 6587, on so-called "Honour Killings"' in Irene Spigno and Ilenia Ruggiu (eds), Justice and Culture. Legal arguments to deal with multicultural disputes (Napoli: Editoriale Scientifica 2019)
    This article revolving around a so-called honour killing dating back to 2009 in Italy, interrogates the potential role of cultural expertise, had the court availed the use of an expert. In order to proceed to this scrutiny a short theoretical outline of the emergent concept of cultural expertise is necessary. In the second section, I will recall the facts of the case and the reaction of the public as well as of the academic scholarship in Italy. In the third section, I will explore the role of cultural expertise and the potential risks attached to it. I will conclude with considerations about the potential value of anthropological knowledge in court, especially within the current political scenario of rise of populism in Italy.
  • Livia Holden, Cultural Expertise and Socio-Legal Studies (Emerald, Austin Sarat Series 2019)
    This special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society aims to foster a dialogue that is inclusive, constructive, and innovative in order to lay the basis for evaluating the usefulness and impact of cultural expertise in modern litigation. It investigates the scope of cultural expertise as a new socio-legal concept that broadly concerns the use of social sciences in connection with rights and the solution of conflicts. While the definition of cultural expertise is new, the conflicts it applies to are not, and these range from criminal law to civil law, including international human rights. In this special issue, socio-legal scientists with interdisciplinary backgrounds scrutinize the applicability of the notion of cultural expertise in Europe and the rest of the World. Cases include murder, female genital mutilation, earthquake claims, Islamic law, underage marriages, child custody, adoption, land rights, and asylum. The authors debate on a variety of themes, such as legal pluralism, ethnicity, causal determinism, reification of culture, and the “culturalization” of defendants. The volume concludes with an overview of the ethical implications of the definition of cultural expertise and suggestions for a way forward.
  • Livia Holden, Cultural Expertise: an Emergent Concept and Evolving Practices (Laws 2019)
    This Special Issue focuses on the contemporary evolution and variation of cultural expertise as an emergent concept providing a conceptual umbrella to a variety of evolving practices, which all include the use of the special knowledge of social sciences for the resolution of conflicts. It surveys the application of cultural expertise in the legal process with an unprecedented span of fields going from ethnopsychiatry to the recognition of the rights of autochthone minorities including linguistic expertise, historical expertise in situations of transitional justice, and post-colonial reformulation of cultural rights. The stress of this Special Issue is on the development and change of culture-related expert witnessing over recent times, culture-related adjudication, and resolution of disputes, criminal litigation, and other kinds of court and out-of-court procedures. This Special Issue offers descriptions of judicial practices involving experts of local laws and customs and surveys of the most frequent fields of expert witnessing that are related with culture; interrogates who the experts are; their links with local communities and also with the courts and the state power and politics; how cultural expert witnessing has been received by judges; how cultural expertise has developed across the sister disciplines of history and psychiatry; and eventually, it asks whether academic truth and legal truth are commensurable across time and space. This special issue is an output of the project titled “Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for?” (EURO-EXPERT) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under H2020-EU.1.1. programme (ERC grant agreement no. 681814), Principal Investigator: Livia Holden.
    ISBN: ISSN 2075-471X
  • Livia Holden, 'La cultural expertise contro il rischio del populismo giudiziario' (2019) Magistratura Democratica
    Il mio intervento propone delle riflessioni sul concetto di pluralismo, sulla relazione tra alterità e discriminazione e sul pericolo che l’attivismo giudiziario possa sfociare in populismo giudiziario. Accennerò quindi alle possibili rappresentazioni della diversità in ambito giudiziario e al modo in cui queste possono finire per facilitare le derive populiste, replicando e potenziando gli stereotipi discriminatori proposti in ambito politico. Concluderò con una proposta alternativa: l’uso delle “consulenze culturali” oppure, in inglese, l’uso delle Cultural Expertise.
  • Livia Holden, 'Law, Governance, and Culture in Gilgit Baltistan: Introduction ' (2019) South Asian History and Culture
    This paper offers an introduction to law, governance and culture in Gilgit-Baltistan. The first section provides a historical survey of the most significant events that make of Gilgit-Baltistan a disputed territory with uncertain constitutional status in Pakistan. The second section delves into the case law that has sanctioned the constitutional status and the rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in connection with the concepts of liminality and marginality. The third section mentions two current megaprojects, the Bhasha Dam and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in order to highlight the economic and political stakes that Gilgit- Baltistan represents at the national and international level. The fourth section surveys religious diversity and sectarianism as components that consistently arise in recent socio-political analyses of Gilgit-Baltistan as factors underlying latent unrest and sudden conflicts. The paper concludes with a proposal to de-colonise the anthropology of Gilgit- Baltistan through a process of cultural expertise that includes perspectives and knowledge generated by scholars that are native of or have spent long periods in Gilgit-Baltistan without necessarily belonging to the elitist networks of first class universities around the globe.
  • A Tsalapatanis, 'Naming Belonging: When National Vocabularies Fail' in A Tsalapatanis, M Bruce, D Bissell & H Keane (ed), Social Beings; Future Belongings: Reimagining the Social (Routledge 2019)
    Belonging is both abstract and fluid, properties that create difficulties when we attempt to articulate particular belongings, and as a result we often fall back on the flawed and static vocabularies of identity to describe these abstract feelings of relation. The use of problematic essentialist vocabularies to designate one’s own belonging or the belonging of others – as illustrated here using the example of ‘national’ identity – can have significant repercussions, including the creation of feelings of exclusion and isolation. This chapter interrogates the intersection between belonging and the vocabularies of identity, drawing upon empirical work from a research project with multiple citizenship status holders in both Australia and Greece.
    ISBN: 978-1-138-70978-2
  • Livia Holden and Euis Nurlaelawati, Nilai-Nilai Budaya dan Keadilan bagi Perempuan di Pengadilan Agama Indonesia: Praktik Terbaik (UIN Sunan Kalijaga Press 2019)
    This collection of essays published shows that at the Islamic courts in Indonesia certain judges skilfully use their cultural expertise in order to reformulate cultural principles within the global framework of international women’s rights. All the cases of this compendium pertain to family law but display a great variety of competencies ranging from cultural principles to international women’s rights and including a remarkable flexibility of interpretation of Islamic law in matters of Javanese joint property, Minangkabau matrilinear kinship, underage marriages, marriage by abduction, divorce and revocation of divorce, poligamy, mediation, customary dower and mahr.
    ISBN: 978-602-1326-92-3
  • A Tsalapatanis, M Bruce, D Bissell and H Keane (eds), Social Beings; Future Belongings: Reimagining the Social (Routledge 2019)
    Social Beings, Future Belongings is a collection of sociological essays that address an increasingly relevant matter: what does belonging look like in the twenty-first century? The book critically explores the concept of belonging and how it can respond to contemporary problems in not only the traditional domains of citizenship and migration, but also in detention practices, queer and feminist politics, Australian literature and fashion, technology, housing and rituals. Drawing on examples from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, each topic is examined as a different kind of problem for the future – as a toil, an intensity or a promise. Ultimately, the collection argues that creating new ways to belong in contemporary times means reimagining the traditional terms on which belonging can happen, as well as the social itself. Read on their own, each chapter presents a compelling case study and develops a set of critical tools for encountering the empirical, epistemological and ontological challenges we face today. Read together, they present a diverse imagination that is capable of answering the question of belonging in, to and with the future. Social Beings, Future Belongings shows how belonging is not a static and universal state, but a contingent, emergent and ongoing future-oriented set of practices. Balancing empirical and theoretical work, this book will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.
    ISBN: 978-1-138-70978-2
  • Livia Holden, 'A woman in academia: … and what about the children?' in Black, Ali & Garvis, Susanne (ed), Lived Experiences of Women in Academia. Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir (Routledge 2018)
    I have been an academic in three continents and throughout six countries. The reoccurring question was: “… and what about the children?” People wanted to know what my children think about the life that we lead. I respond for the first time through a polyphonic narrative to share our experience as a family. I argue that the patriarchal expectations that negatively impacted on my life as mother and academician are linked with class. Hence, the apparent paradox between outdated gender expectations in the European middle class context and the uneventful combination of motherhood and career among the upper class in Pakistan.
  • Livia Holden, 'Women Judges in Pakistan' (2018) International Journal of the Legal Profession
    Although the first appointment of women judges in Pakistan dates back to 1974, a significant appointment of female judges from 2009 onward has caused a jump in female representation to more than one third in family courts: a quiet move during the tumultuous years of the so-called Chaudhry Court. The challenge in this scenario was whether this change would only be temporary or whether it would also lead to substantial and accountable inclusion. This paper adopts mixed methods to scrutinize the extent of the adherence to the principle of gender equality in the judiciary as per international treaties to which Pakistan is signatory. It starts by retracing the historical steps of the appointment of female judges in Pakistan and then investigates the everyday interactions and preoccupations of women judges in their daily management of justice. The findings elucidate how the global agenda impacts local expectations and conceptualizations of gender representation within and beyond the state.
  • Livia Holden, 'Women’s Judges and Women’s Rights in Pakistan' (2017) vol. 7 Oñati Socio-legal Series
    Although the first appointment of women judges in Pakistan dates back to 1974, the significant appointment of “lady judges” in the past decade has caused a jump in female representation in the judiciary to more than one third in family courts – a quiet move that sends a message of adherence to the principle of gender equality as per the international treaties to which Pakistan is signatory. By investigating the everyday interactions and preoccupations of women judges in their daily management of justice, this paper explores the socio-legal reception of the human rights discourse from the perspective of the female judges. The challenge in this scenario is whether this change will only be formal or whether it will also lead to substantial and accountable justice. The findings here additionally elucidate how the global agenda impacts local expectations and conceptualizations of rights within and beyond the state.
  • Livia Holden, Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and Diasporas (Taylor & Francis 2015)
    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.
  • Livia Holden and Azam Chaudhary , 'Daughters' Inheritance, Legal Pluralism, and Governance in Pakistan' in Livia Holden (ed), Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and in the Diasporas (Taylor & Francis 2013)
    This paper explores social actors’ arguments regarding daughters’ inheritance, their use in court, and the implications of legal pluralism on governance in Pakistan. It scrutinizes the notion of custom, non-state law, and positive law as crucial dynamics that shed light on the ways social actors make sense of power and governance. In Foucauldian terms, this paper deals with the formation of statements – their temporalization and their becoming but in particular sheds light on the potential logics of the perpetuation of gender discrimination in inheritance laws. This paper suggests that the everyday arguments that play a role in the elaboration of the story told to the courts and received by the judge have the role of actants. Within the framework of proceedings it is possible to isolate the micro-units on which the legal discourse is elaborated either for state- or non-state jurisdiction, or for both of them, not necessarily seen as antagonistic places, and not necessarily seen within a framework of justice and injustice. This paper concludes that notwithstanding polarized discourses on centralized and decentralized governance, everyday practices of law in Pakistan tend rather to perpetuate non-state law together with positive law as continuous and concomitant interlegalities in and beyond the state instead of exclusive and conflicting sources of legitimacy.
  • Livia Holden, 'Expert Report Writing: Professional Commitments and Legal Outcomes' in Livia Holden (ed), Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives (Routledge 2013)
  • Holden, Marius and Livia Holden, 'Lady Judges of Pakistan' (2013) Insights
    This is the OA version. Three version lengths (29, 54, and 75 min.) in Urdu and English with English subtitles available at
    This documentary film follows legal proceedings in the law courts presided over by women-judges in the four provinces of Pakistan. Shot in observational style and developed on the basis of collaborative relationships, it weaves together court proceedings, personal narratives, and glimpses of everyday life. While the main action flows through the multi-sited management of justice, the interactions among the litigants, defendants, lawyers, clerics, and police offer insights in the socio-legal context that the women judges are grappling with in Pakistan.