En Fr



  • Centre d'Etudes Himalayennes
    UPR 299 - CNRS
  • Campus Condorcet
  • 2, cours des Humanités
  • 93322 Aubervilliers Cedex
  • France
  • Tel : 01 88 12 11 03
  • himalaya[at]
  • Venir nous voir
  • Intranet

Accueil > Membres > Associés et Invités


Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

Contact :


Research topics

According to the Annual Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, indigenous women experience a complex spectrum of human rights abuses but their specific situation has been neglected in policy and on the ground. The report underlines the multiple forms of vulnerability indigenous women experience, mentioning among them barriers to accessing resources which intersect with gender, class, origin and right to self-determination. Nonetheless, the unequal, gendered access to natural resources and economic violence does not feature prominently in current indigenous literature and very few studies on indigenous peoples and self-determination include a gendered perspective on patriarchal structures and the power imbalances within indigenous communities. Starting from these theoretical premises which borrow modules and categories from indigenous intersectional feminism, I am developing an analysis of women’s proprietary patterns among some indigenous communities in Jharkhand and North-East areas in order to underline how indigenous women navigate between customary and statutory law and forums in order to advance their claims over land. Focusing on Indian case law related to indigenous land tenure, this research unravels the role of judicial forums as sites of contestation and resignification as well as indigenous women’s engagement with their own communities and state institutions through the judiciary.


Chiara obtained her PhD in Law at the University of Turin in 2018 with a thesis on local justice and state rationalisation of legal pluralism in India. She currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow and adjunct professor at the University of Turin, Department of Law, where she teaches Hindu Law and Law and Society in Asia. As a postdoc fellow, she investigates the interplay between legal orders in the Indian space : she has worked extensively on Hindu personal law and gender issues, as well as the Panchayati Raj system and its impact on local power structures. She is now conducting her research on interlegality issues and Adivasi women’s agency, carrying out a comparison between the Jharkhand and the north-eastern contexts in terms of positive law and traditional practices related to land tenure and inheritance rights.

She is a former research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (New Delhi) and Van Calker Fellow at the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé (Lausanne). During her PhD, she was also visiting research student at the Queen Mary University of London, Department of Law.

Keywords : interlegality, legal pluralism, personal laws, law and gender, Adivasi issues

Fieldwork : India

Main publications

Razionalizzazione del pluralismo giuridico e Panchayati Raj in India, Memorie del Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Università di Torino, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane e Università degli Studi di Torino, Napoli e Torino, 11, 2020, ISBN 978-88-495-4047-5

Peer-reviewed journal articles

(forthcoming) “Adivasi women’s rights and land litigation in courts” in Diritti Comparati, Special Issue for the ELaN Final Conference on Access to Justice : A Gender Perspective, 1, 2023, pages tbc, ISSN : 2532-6619

“The counter-hegemonic potential of law : from the Wilkinson’s Rules to the Pathalgadi movement in India” in Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo (DPCE) online, vol. 46, no. 1, 2021, pp. 131–156, ISSN 2037-6677, (double-blind peer review)

“Pañcāyat e vyavahāra : una prospettiva sulle dinamiche locali di dispute settlement in India” in Daimon, Numero speciale dei Quaderni di Diritto e Politica Ecclesiastica, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2020, pp. 95–112, ISSN : 1122-0392.

“Legislazione e diritti personali in India”, co-author : Domenico Francavilla, Quaderni di Diritto e Politica Ecclesiastica, 2, 2017, pp. 357–376, ISSN 1122-0392 (parr. 2-3).

“La riforma legislativa in materia di violenza sessuale in India : profili giuridici e sociologici”, Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo (DPCE) online, vol. 21, no. 1, 2015, pp. 87–106, ISSN 2037-6677, (double-blind peer review)

“Dote e violenza domestica in India : un’analisi socio-giuridica”, Quaderni di Donne & Ricerca CIRSDe (Interdisciplinary Centre for Research and Studies on Women and Gender), 36, 2014, pp. 1-68, ISSN 1827-5982 (blind peer review)

Contributions to edited volumes

(forthcoming) Women’s layered identities and property rights : dowry and women’s wealth in the Ain of 1854, Proceedings of the conference “Studies on Dharma in the Himalayan Region”, Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum, 2023, pages tbc

(forthcoming) Lo Stato nel diritto hindu e nel diritto buddhista, in FERRARI S. (ed.), Strumenti e percorsi di diritto comparato delle religioni, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2022, pages tbc

I matrimoni interreligiosi nella tradizione hindu e buddhista, in FERRARI S. (ed.), Strumenti e percorsi di diritto comparato delle religioni, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2019, pp. 157–168, ISBN : 978-88-15-27876-0

La donna indiana nell’era postcoloniale : riconsiderare l’approccio alle questioni di genere in India, in ZUANAZZI I., RUSCAZIO M. C. (eds.), Le relazioni familiari nel diritto interculturale, Libellula edizioni, Tricase, 2018, pp. 135–157, ISBN : 978-88-67354-14-6 (blind peer review)

L’esperimento delle Women’s Courts in India tra ricostituzione identitaria e accesso alla giustizia, in DONINI E. (ed.), Bisogno di verità. Il Tribunale delle donne, un approccio femminista alla giustizia, Collana “Studi di genere. Convegni”- Vol. 4, CIRSDe, Torino, 2018, pp. 76–88, ISBN : 9788875901233

Of Women and Myths : Revising Analytical Approaches to Gender Issues in India, in Südasien Chronik, South Asia Chronicle, no. 6, Seminar für Südasienstudien, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2016, pp. 93–117, ISBN : 978-3-86004-324-0 (blind peer review)

Other publications

“Hindu minorities in Europe”, Atlas of religious or belief minority rights (project coordinated by prof. Silvio Ferrari), available here, 2022

“Panchayati Raj structural amendments in Jharkhand. Two sides of the same coin”, International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter, 87 Autumn, 2020, p. 7.

“La Corte Suprema indiana tra istanze religiose, conflitti intercomunitari e questioni di genere”, Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo (DPCE) online, vol. 33, no. 4, 2017, pp. 1007–1012, ISSN 2037-6677.

“Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 : la Corte Suprema indiana amplia il raggio d’azione della legge dichiarando l’incostituzionalità di parte della sezione 2(q)”, Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo (DPCE) online, vol. 28, no. 4, 2016, pp. 225–234, ISSN 2037-6677.

Lectures and talks (selected)

Presentation of the paper “Adivasi women, access to justice and land rights” during the final conference of the Jean Monnet module European Law and Gender, ElaN-Università degli Studi di Pisa, Pisa, 23–24 September 2022

Presentation of the paper "Adivasi Women and Access to Land in Jharkhand" during the 2022 Global Meeting on Law & Society, Law & Society Association, Lisbon, 13–16 July 2022

Presentation of the paper “Women’s layered identities and property rights : the discipline of dowry in the Ain of 1854”, during the conference Studies on Dharma in the Himalayan Region, The Śivadharma Project, Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Università di Torino- Istituto di Studi sull’Asia, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Naples, 27–29 April 2022

Presentation of the paper “Women’s Rights to Land : Some Insights into the Adivasi Communities of Jharkhand” during the 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 12) ; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and Kyoto Seika University, 25 August 2021

Presentation of the paper “Hybrid Adivasi leadership patterns after PESA”, during the 26th European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) ; European Association on South Asian Studies (EASAS), 29 July 2021

Presentation of the paper “Adivasi women’s rights to land : Traditional patterns & new emancipatory discourses”, during the King’s India Institute Graduate Conference 2021 ‘Understanding Contemporary South Asia : Belonging, Functioning, Renegotiating” ; King’s College, 30 June 2021

“Legalism and beyond : hybrid legal spaces in India”, webinar, International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden), 21 January 2021

“The situation of traditional leadership among Adivasi communities in Jharkhand in light of the 1996 PESA structural amendments : new setting, old challenges” during the Biannual conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism on Citizenship, legal pluralism and governance in the age of globalization, Ottawa, 22–24 August 2018

“Cognitive Mistakes in the Colonial Works about the Indian Village Institution and Their Impact on the Independent India Governmental Policies”- paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference of the Younger Comparativists Committee- American Society of Comparative Law (organized together with the Koc University Law School), Istanbul, 28–29 April 2017