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 professional 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.

  • “Transacting on Trust: The Regulation of Trade Credit by Afghanistan’s Money Exchangers” Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems (forthcoming 2021)
  • “Order in the Bazaar: The Transformation of Nonstate Law in Afghanistan’s Premier Money Exchange Market” Law and Social Inquiry (forthcoming 2021)
  • “The Regulation of Informal Trade Credit (Ograyi) in Afghanistan” Asian Journal of Law and Society. (forthcoming 2021)
  • ““I Am Not Alone”: Rohingya Women Negotiating Home and Belonging in Bangladesh’s Refugee Camps.” In: Mayer, T. and Tran, T. (eds.), Power and Agency in Migration: Voiced from Displacement and Belonging. New York: Routledge. (co-authored with F. Rahman; forthcoming 2021)
  • “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
Graduate Student Paper Prize, Law and Society Association, 2021; Trandafir Writing Competition Award, Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 2021; Simon Roberts Award for best dissertation proposal on legal ethnography, Modern Law Review, 2017