Sussex Asia Centre

Dr Julie Billaud

She holds a European DPhil in Social Anthropology and law from the University of Sussex and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.  She is currently working on two new research projects. One is focusing on Islam in Europe, and the contemporary transformations of the European public sphere through its encounter with Islamic difference. This work documents everyday 'shariah' in neo-liberal Britain, and highlights how state interventions participate in contradictory ways in the making of a legal field which is both embraced for its commercial potential and contested for its supposed discrimination against women. More generally, the study explores notions of morality, citizenship and multiculturalism from the standpoint of these emerging religious claims.  Her second research project is carried out in collaboration with Jane Cowan (Univ. of Sussex), and consists in an ethnographic study of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a new mechanism of human rights monitoring within the reformed Human Rights Council in Geneva. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropolohy in Halle, Germany. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the academic blog 'Allegra: Anthropology, Law, Art, World’ (