Dr Nafay Choudhury

Junior Research Fellow
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
Jeremy Haworth Research Fellow

Dr Choudhury is a Junior Research Fellow at St Catharine’s. 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 has been a Research Fellow for the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School since 2019 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. Nafay is also an avid home cook.

Nafay’s writing has been awarded the Graduate Student Paper Prize by the Law and Society Association and the Trandafir Writing Competition Award from the Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems journal, and he has been shortlisted for the 2022 Article Prize by the Socio-Legal Studies Association.

  • “Transacting on Trust: The Regulation of Trade Credit by Afghanistan’s Money Exchangers” Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems (forthcoming 2022)
  • ““I Am Not Alone”: Rohingya Women Negotiating Home and Belonging in Bangladesh’s Refugee Camps.” In: Mayer, T. and Tran, T. (eds.),
    Displacement, Belonging, and Migrant Agency in the Face of Power. New York: Routledge. (co-authored with F. Rahman; forthcoming 2022)
  • “Order in the Bazaar: The Transformation of Nonstate Law in Afghanistan’s Premier Money Exchange Market” (2022) Law and Social Inquiry, 47 (1), pp. 292 – 330
  • “The Regulation of Informal Trade Credit (Ograyi) in Afghanistan” (2021) Asian Journal of Law and Society, p. 1–29
  • “Lessons on Global Legal Transfers from Afghan Taxi Drivers: A Social Network Approach” (2019) Journal of Afghan Legal Studies, vol. 2
  • “Revisiting Critical Legal Pluralism: Normative Contestations in the Afghan Courtroom” (2017), Asian Journal of Law and Society, 4, pg. 229-255
  • “The Localised Madrasa in Afghanistan: Their Political and Governance Entanglements” (2017), Religion, State & Society, 45:2, pg. 120-140
  • “Pluralism in Legal Education at the American University of Afghanistan” (2014) Suffolk Transnational Law Review, 37, pg. 249-288
  • “Niqab vs. Quebec: Negotiating Minority Rights within Quebec Identity” (2012) The University of Western Ontario Journal of Legal Studies, 1, pg. 1-29
Shortlisted - 2022 Article Prize, Socio-Legal Studies Assoc.; 2021 Graduate Student Paper Prize, Law and Society Association; 2021 Trandafir Writing Competition Award, Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems; 2017 Simon Roberts Award, Modern Law Review