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Social anthropologist

Contact : barbara.berardi-tadie [at] / bbtadie [at]

Research topics

Barbara Berardi Tadié works on the anthropology of human rights and judicial cases, on civil society organizations (CSOs) and on para-political forms of social mobilization in Nepal.

Her PhD dissertation, completed in February 2017, examines the emergence of a culture of human rights in Nepal while focusing on the triangular relationship between civil society organizations, on the international discourse on human rights and on the social, legal and institutional changes that characterize the country’s recent history.

Her research is based on an ethnography of CSOs across the various levels (grassroots, national and transnational) and fields (social, political and legal) where they operate, from grassroots urban associations in Pokhara (āmā samūha or mothers’ groups, tol vikās sanstha or neighborhood development associations) to the associations of ethnic minorities (or “indigenous nationalities”) and of Dalit and parbatiya (Nepali high caste of hill origin) groups, and NGOs specialized in human rights. The latter are analyzed in their interaction with the Nepalese judiciary, as emerges from an analysis of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) cases filed at the Supreme Court (this research was conducted in the framework of the ANR program "Justice and Governance in Contemporary India and South Asia", coordinated by D. Berti and G. Tarabout, 2009-2012).

Barbara’s current research focuses on "The State of Civil Society in the New Nepal", mapping the restructurings of CSOs in the post-2015 period by concentrating in particular on the network of Dalit associations, which has expanded dramatically since 2011.

She is also pursuing an analysis of "Public Interest Litigations as an Interface between Civil Society and Justice in Nepal" through a dual approach, aimed at :

1) developing an ethno-history of social and political change in Nepal during the period between the last two Constitutions (1990-2015), based on an ethnography of Public Interest Litigations, and

2) identifying and analyzing rights-related conflictualities that emerged in the wake of the new Constitution, as revealed by PIL cases filed after its promulgation.

Keywords :

- Himalayas
- South Asia
- Nepal
- Pokhara
- civil society
- associations
- āmā samūha
- NGOs
- anthropology
- human rights
- gender
- social movements
- minorities
- Public Interest Litigation (PIL)

Fieldwork : Pokhara ; Nepal.


2017, "L’ère des droits. Vers une anthropologies des associations de la société civile au Népal", PhD dissertation, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, p. 425.

2016, "Engendering Truth : the Power of the Legal Discourse and its Mobilization by Asoociations in Nepal : A Case Study", Oral Tradition Journal (Special issue, Marie Lecomte-Tilouine and Anne de Sales eds, "Authoritative Speech in the Himalayas"), 30(2) : 361-386.

2013, "Discorsi giuridici e tecnologie sociali in Nepal : analisi di un contenzioso strategico", in A. De Lauri (ed.), Antropologia giuridica, Mondadori Università : 137-158.

2010, "Migration and Urban Associations : Notes on Social Networks in Pokhara, Nepal", European Bulletin of Himalayan Research (Special Double Issue : Nepalese Migrations), 35/36 : 75-90.

2006, "Géographie, représentations et utilisations symboliques de l’espace dans les chants chamaniques du Népal de l’Ouest", Etudes Mongoles, Sibériennes et de la Haute Asie, 36/37 : 325-347.