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Accueil > Recherche > Projets de recherche dirigés par le CEH

Just-India (2009-2012)

Governance and Justice in South Asia : for an anthropology of judiciary cases


Daniela Berti (CEH) and Gilles Tarabout (LESC) are the coordinators for this project.

Numerous cases are registered every year in courts at different levels, as well as in state-sponsored or non-state village courts. The study follows two complementary approaches :

- to enter into the details of verbal exchanges, of judiciary interactions and of power relationships which are displayed during the trial. The objective is to study how governance is concretely implemented in local society, through the everyday practice of justice and its formalized proceedings.

- to follow the judiciary story of cases by relying on court records, on newspapers articles and on the collection of narratives from those who have been involved. While the study of legal documents will help reconstruct the legal reasoning behind the case, people’s narratives and discourses will provide the contextual story where the multiple points of view of the parties involved are embedded in social dynamics of solidarity or conflict.

This approach to governance via in-depth studies of court cases in all their multifaceted and socially contextualised complexity has not yet been systematically applied in South Asia.

The project has thus a twofold ambition, i.e. to improve our understanding of institutions in South Asia, and to develop a reflection on methodological issues.

The project gathers some twenty seven scholars from different countries, all of them specialists of South Asia.