J. Andrew Bush

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York U., Abu Dhabi

Grant number

Gr. 9777

Approve Date

April 28, 2019

Project Title

Bush, J. Andrew Harvard Law School "Islamic Law in a Quasi-State: Husbands and Jurists at the Fatwa Council in Iraqi Kurdistan"

J. ANDREW BUSH, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in April 2019 to aid research on ‘Islamic Law in a Quasi-State: Husbands and Jurists at the Fatwa Council in Iraqi Kurdistan.’ When Muslim men engage legal forums on questions of marriage and divorce, several layers of uncertainty surround their status as husbands. Within those forums, practitioners of civil law and shari’a in the Kurdistan region of Iraq work across multiple layers of uncertainty about legal authority in a landscape characterized by legal pluralism. Fieldwork and remote research combined extensive textual analyses of the shari’a tradition and civil laws promulgated by the federal Iraqi government and Kurdistan regional government with observations of courtroom proceedings and interviews with lawyers, judges, and public prosecutors. Research tracked how the figure of the husband has appeared in different legal forums and the texts that perform legal debates stretching to the 18th century. Results suggest that the dynamism of legal doctrine and the genealogies of legal pluralism have not been occluded by 21st century legal practice, but rather refigured alongside textual practices that continue to emphasize the dynamism of texts themselves. Multiple, shifting procedures for adjudicating marriage and divorce have remade men as husbands in these forums.