Aisalkyn Botoeva’s research interests address socio-economic developmental paths, moralized markets, Islamic economy, and the role of imagined futures in economic action.
Botoeva received her doctorate in sociology from Brown University. Her dissertation addresses the fundamental question of why certain socio-economic development projects take hold in a given context among competing alternatives. With the support of the Aga Khan Foundation and a Hazeltine fellowship from the Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations Program at Brown University, Botoeva conducted over fifteen months of fieldwork in the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. She examined why and how state officials in these former Soviet republics turned to the “alternative” model of socioeconomic development offered by Islamic business in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. Botoeva’s project addresses gaps in the literature by examining how market actors orient their activities to moral futures – imagined future states of society. She examines how entrepreneurs, state officials, and other actors in the emerging market for Islamic commodities and services imagine better futures, and work to enact these cognitive frames through commerce, legislation, halal certification, and other activities that shape the market.
Most recently, Botoeva worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of Providence College. Before starting her academic career in the US, Botoeva worked in her home country of Kyrgyzstan as a lecturer at the American University of Central Asia.
While at ILSP: Law and Social Change, Botoeva will work on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Moral Futures: Islamic Businesses at the Intersection of Commerce, Law, and Politics. She will be in residence at ILSP: LSC during the 2017–2018 academic year.
Navid Fozi is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research explores minorities, migration, and emergent forms of pluralism and nationalism in Iran and its diasporas. Fozi has conducted fieldwork with and published on ethnoreligious minorities in Iran, including his book on the Zoroastrians entitled Reclaiming the Faravahar: Zoroastrian Survival in Contemporary Tehran, (Leiden University Press, 2014), and on the Ahl-e Haqq community entitled “The Hallowed Summoning of Tradition,” (Anthropological Quarterly, 2007). He has also published on contemporary Iranian politics, including “Governmentality and Crises of Representation, Knowledge and Power in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” (Asian Politics & Policy, 2015); and “‘Neo-Iranian Nationalism,’” (The Middle East Journal, 2016).
Fozi’s main work during his tenure at ILSP: LSC from September 2017 to May 2018 consists of a book project based on his recent field research among Iranian asylum seekers in Turkey. He has conducted this ethnographic research during two years (2015–2016) that he served as a fellow of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) at the Middle East Technical University of Ankara. Tentatively entitled “Diasporic Counterpublics: Multiplicities, Challenges, and Trajectories of Iranian Asylum Seekers in Turkey,” this project explores issues that range from Islamic Shiʿi Jurisprudence, citizenship rights, border crossing, and right of asylum, to transit processes, international politics, and transnational practices.
Fozi holds a PhD and a Master of Arts in sociocultural anthropology from Boston University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, respectively, a Master of Arts in applied sociology and a Bachelor of Arts, both from University of Texas, Dallas. Fozi has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad for fieldwork in Iran, a Fulbright-US Scholarship based in University of Malaya for fieldwork with Iranian Diaspora in Kuala Lumpur, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore.
Havva G. Guney-Ruebenacker received her SJD from Harvard Law School and her dissertation is titled “An Islamic Legal Realist Critique of the Traditional Theory of Slavery, Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Law.” Her research and teaching areas include Islamic law, American family law, contracts, international human rights law, comparative law, European Union law, gender and law, legal history, legal theory, religion and law.
Guney-Ruebenacker’s doctoral research focused on classical Islamic law and modern Islamic legal reforms in the area of slavery and family law with a comparative examination of modernization of American family law in the area of no-fault divorce and its economic consequences. In particular, her work examines the ways in which the institution of slavery influenced the structure and content of traditional Islamic legal theory of marriage and divorce, develops a new theory of Islamic Legal Realism that challenges the historical legitimacy of both slavery and women’s inequality in traditional Islamic law, and advances a concrete reform proposal for divorce and post-divorce economic rights of women in Islamic law.
As a Visiting Assistant Professor, Guney-Ruebenacker taught comparative family law and Islamic law at Boston University School of Law, and was a teaching fellow at Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School for classes in American constitutional history, comparative family law and Islamic law. She worked as a researcher for the honorable judge Lucius Caflisch at the European Court of Human Rights and at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva. Havva served as a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies at University of Oxford and at Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard.
Guney-Ruebenacker studied both major schools of Islamic law (Sunni and Shiite) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and received a BA in Law from the University of Tehran. She holds an LLM degree from Harvard and also an LLM in European Union law and European legal history from University of Cambridge. She is fluent in English, Turkish, Arabic, and Farsi.
While at ILSP: LSC, Guney-Ruebenacker’s research will focus on the development of a novel approach to the analysis of the cases of Islamic marriage contracts and mahr agreements in American courts, as a remarkable case of interaction of Islamic and western law that entails significant implications for legal and social change in the areas of divorce and property in Islamic law. She will be in residence at ILSP: LSC September 2017–May 2018.
Andrew F. March taught for ten years in the Political Science Department at Yale University, and has taught Islamic Law at Yale and NYU law schools. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of political philosophy, Islamic law and political thought, religion, and political theory. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. His book, Islam and Liberal Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2009), is an exploration of the Islamic juridical discourse on the rights, loyalties, and obligations of Muslim minorities in liberal polities, and won the 2009 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion. He has published articles on religion, liberalism, and Islamic law in, amongst other publications, the American Political Science Review, Philosophy & Public Affairs, Journal of Political Philosophy, European Journal of International Law, and Islamic Law and Society. During his fellowship year, he will be working on a book on the problem of divine and popular sovereignty in modern Islamic thought, titled The Caliphate of Man. March is a Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and also is a Visiting Fellow with the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change at Harvard Law School.
Dominik M. Müller specializes in the political and legal anthropology of Muslim societies in contemporary Southeast Asia (esp. Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore), Islamic law and institutions, classificatory power, popular culture, and the social negotiation of normative change.
Müller is Head of the Research Group “The Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia” at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Department of Law and Anthropology, in Germany (2016–2021). His group is funded by the German Research Foundation’s prestigious Emmy Noether Program. He is also a Fellow at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) at the National University of Singapore (2017–2020), and holds a Post-Doctoral Scholarship from the Daimler and Benz Foundation (2018–2019). He received his PhD from Goethe-University Frankfurt’s Cluster of Excellence “Formation of Normative Orders” in 2012, where he also has been post-doctoral researcher until 2016. He has held a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Post-Doc Fellowship at Stanford University (2013), and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Brunei Darussalam (2014), the University of Oxford (2015), and the National University of Singapore (2016). In Germany, he has taught seminars at the universities of Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Mainz, Halle and Leipzig. Beyond academia, he has conducted research for the Jakarta-based Human Rights Resource Centre (HRRC) in the context of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.
His PhD thesis on the rise of “pop-Islamism” in the Shari’a-discourse and everyday practices of the Islamic Party of Malaysia received the Frobenius Society Research Award as Germany’s best anthropological dissertation of 2012 and was published by Routledge in 2014. Since completing his PhD, he has conducted regular fieldwork on Islamization policies, national ideology (Melayu Islam Beraja) and social change in the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam.
Müller studied Socio-Cultural Anthropology (major), Law and Philosophy in Frankfurt and Leiden (2003–2008). Since then, he has conducted extensive research in Malay-speaking Southeast Asia, beginning with fieldwork for his M.A. thesis in Brunei in 2007.
While at ILSP: Law and Social Change, Müller will be working on the manuscript for his second monograph that explores social dimensions of Islamic governance in Brunei. He will also work on two invited entries for the Encyclopedia of Islam (Brill, third edition) and finalize an edited volume on the Bureaucratization of Islam in Southeast Asia for the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs. He will be in residence at ILSP: LSC February 2018–April 2018.
Erum Sattar Visiting Fellow, ILSP: LSC
Erum Khalid Sattar, SJD 2017, received her Doctorate in Juridical Sciences from Harvard Law School where her dissertation committee consisted of Professors Mark Tushnet, James Salzman (of UCLA and UC Santa Barbara) and Amartya Sen. Her research focuses on issues of water federalism in the Indus Basin. Before coming to Harvard, she qualified to become a Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn. She is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Asia Quarterly, the journal of the Harvard Asia Center. She is also the co-founder of the Water Law Study Group at Harvard Law School.
Her research focuses on the institutional architecture of development and explores the linkages between current structures of Pakistan’s rural agricultural economy based on the historical control of natural resources, water and land, in the Indus river system. As part of her research, she is also focused on studying trans-boundary water sharing in the Indus Basin. She has recently co-authored a paper comparing the Indus to the Colorado River Basin, Sattar, Erum and Robison, Jason Anthony and McCool, Daniel, Evolution of Water Institutions in the Indus River Basin: Reflections from the Law of the Colorado River (August 21, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023589 and has previously published Condon, Madison; Kriens, Don; Lohani, Anjali; Sattar, Erum, Challenge and Response in the Indus Basin, 16 Water Policy 58 (2014).
During the ILSP: LSC Fellowship, she will focus on developing a paper tentatively titled, From the Moors to the New World: Lessons from Dynamic Water Sharing for a Colonial-Era System in the Indus. The paper explores the very different legal and institutional regimes created by the Moors in Spain and the British in India and assesses them for their relevance to the time of extreme weather and water stress in which civilizations, particularly in semi-arid environments, currently find themselves.
Ahmed El Shamsy Senior Scholar, ILSP: SHARIAsource
Ahmed El Shamsy is an Associate Professor of Islamic thought at the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, focusing on the evolution of the classical Islamic disciplines and scholarly culture within their broader historical context. His research addresses themes such as orality and literacy, the history of the book, and the theory and practice of Islamic law. His first book, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History, traces the transformation of Islamic law from a primarily oral tradition to a systematic written discipline in the eighth and ninth centuries. He is now at work on his second book, a study of the reinvention of the Islamic scholarly tradition and its textual canon via the printing press in the early twentieth century.
Ebrahim Afsah Policy Fellow, ILSP: SHARIAsource
Ebrahim Afsah is an associate professor of international law at the University of Copenhagen, where he teaches international, European Union, constitutional and Islamic law. He has been trained at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Trinity College Dublin, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and the Max Planck Institute for International Law in Heidelberg. Before joining the faculty in Copenhagen, he worked for a decade as a management consultant in the Middle East and Central Asia, primarily on administrative and legal reform, counter-narcotics, prisons and legal training.
His areas of interest are public international law, especially the law of armed conflict; public law, especially administrative and constitutional law in post-conflict settings; and Islamic law, again especially its (underdeveloped) public law. Ebrahim has been a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, a senior fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo and will be in residence at Harvard during the spring semester 2018.
During this period, he will compare the Islamic instrument of waqf and the related Western concept of a (landed) trust. He is interested in examining the methodological and theoretical foundations of the waqf and its integration into modern state bureaucracies and legal systems, which have been heavily characterised by borrowings from Western law. He seeks to investigate three related aspects in contemporary Muslim legal systems: first, how the modern Ministries of Charitable Endowments, which exist in one way or other in virtually all Muslim nations, operate; second, the legal basis in the modern period under which foundations operate in the Muslim world, especially the extremely influential bonyads in the Islamic Republic of Iran; and, thirdly, the manner in which certain institutions that historically have been key beneficiaries of charitable endowments – especially schools, universities, seminaries – have been legally incorporated in the modern period.
Mansurah Izzul Mohamed’s research interests include Southeast Asian studies that address the political aspects, as well as the socio-economic implications of Shariah introduction and subsequent legal implementation in a country. Mohamed is also interested in areas where human rights and the different cultural understandings intersect; as well as the use of negotiation studies to further understand crisis management situations, and she has explored these in her Masters and Bachelors dissertations.
Mohamed holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School, Tufts University (2017) and a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Auckland University (2011), respectively and a Single Honors Bachelor Degree in International Relations from Keele University (2006). She has been awarded a Brunei Government In-Service Training (LDP) Scholarship to undergo graduate level studies.
Before commencing her postgraduate studies in New Zealand and the United States (US), Mohamed worked in Brunei Darussalam as a Research Officer and then Assistant Director at the Department of International Organizations (DIO), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT).
While at the Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP), Mohamed will work on a on a paper pertaining to the introduction and evolution of Shariah law in Southeast Asian countries, with particular emphasis on its impact to countries in the region. The research will address several perspectives, including but not limited to human rights, political and economic standpoints. Mohamed is also involved in the SHARIAsource Digitization Project undertaken by the Harvard Law School Library particularly concerned with the Brunei sources in the Pilot Project. Her role will be to translate relevant documents in Malay and advise on relevant and important sources to be introduced and digitized. She will be in residence at ILSP during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Rodrigo Adem Visiting Fellow, ILSP: SHARIAsource
Rodrigo Adem Alvarez studies pre-modern Muslim thought as an intellectual and social historian. He is particularly interested in how scholarly networks mediated social and epistemic authority within the urban and political development of the Near East and Mediterranean over the 8th to 14th century. He hopes to further current understanding of how paradigmatic scholarly traditions of law, theology, historiography, philosophy, mysticism, and political thought came to be codified during this period, and persist in key facets of Muslim thought to the present day.
Professor Seval Yildirim received her J.D. and LL.M. from New York University School of Law and her Masters in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She joins ILSP from UC Berkeley School of Law where she was a Visiting Professor teaching Islamic Law during the Spring 2017 semester. Professor Yildirim has been the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor of Law at Whittier Law School and a Visiting Associate Professor at Villanova University School of Law. Her research and scholarship center on secularism and Islamic law in comparative contexts, focusing on Turkey, India and the United States.
Professor Yildirim is the past chair of the Association of American Law Schools, Section on Islamic Law, chair of the AALS Section on Comparative Law and the past chair of the Islamic Law Committee of the Association of International Law- American Branch. Prior to joining the legal academy, Professor Yildirim was a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Professor Yildirim has served as pro bono attorney and legal consultant in free exercise and Establishment Clause cases in California, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
While at ILSP, Professor Yildirim will be working on her manuscript, The M Word: Muslims, Minorities and the American Experience.