En Fr



  • Centre d'Etudes Himalayennes
    UPR 299 - CNRS
  • Campus Condorcet
  • 2, cours des Humanités
  • 93322 Aubervilliers Cedex
  • France
  • Tel : 01 88 12 11 03
  • himalaya[at]
  • Venir nous voir
  • Intranet

Accueil > Membres > Associés et Invités

GOOD Anthony

Contact : A.Good [at]

Anthony Good is an anthropologist specialising in kinship, religion and legal anthropology. He is Professor Emeritus in Social Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, where he was previously Professor of Social Anthropology in Practice and served as Head of School immediately prior to his retirement. He is also an associate member of the CNRS’s Centre d’études himalayennes (CEH).

After an early career in chemical physics at the Universities of Edinburgh, Alberta, Cambridge, Peradeniya and City, Anthony retrained as an anthropologist in the mid-1970s at the University of Durham. His doctoral field research in Tamil Nadu, South India focused on family and kinship, especially the life-cycle ceremonies surrounding birth, puberty, marriage and death. Subsequent research in a Hindu temple was concerned with the ceremonial economy linking gods, priests and worshippers, as well as daily and festival worship.

In the 1990s he acted as senior consultant for the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), convening a team of Edinburgh anthropologists providing advice on NGO-implemented community development projects. He was also involved in field visits to projects in India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh, and in policy-related work for DfID itself.

Since 1994 he has acted as an expert witness in more than 600 asylum appeal cases involving Sri Lankans – mainly in the UK, but also in Canada, the USA, Australia and several European countries. In 2003, 2006 and 2010, he made brief fact-finding visits to Sri Lanka, together with A.J. Paterson – a leading immigration lawyer – to assess the human rights situation there, producing reports for use as evidence in asylum claims. These experiences led him to conduct extensive research on the administrative and legal processes involved in claiming asylum.

In 2000–01 his research into the uses of expert evidence in the British asylum courts was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. He then collaborated with Dr Robert Gibb of Glasgow University in a project funded under the Diasporas, Migration and Identities (DMI) Programme of the Arts & Humanities Research Council, entitled The Conversion of Asylum Applicants’ Narratives into Legal Discourses in the UK and France : a Comparative Study of Problems of Cultural Translation. This project involved a workshop, held in Edinburgh in 2009, that brought together judges, lawyers, interpreters, senior executives of NGOs, and judicial and ministerial officials from France and the UK.

Anthony also participated in the programme Justice and Governance in Contemporary India and South Asia (Just-India ; ANR 2009–2012) coordinated by Gilles Tarabout and Daniela Berti. In June 2017, with Daniela Berti, he co-hosted a workshop in Edinburgh, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, entitled ‘Taking Nature to the Courtroom. Development Projects, Protected Areas and Religious Reform in South Asia’. The workshop focused on recent and pending litigation on these issues in South Asian courts.

He is also the Independent Ethics Adviser to the VULNER programme (Vulnerabilities under the Global Protection Régime : How does the Law Assess, Address, Shape and Produce the Vulnerabilities of Protection Seekers ?) an Horizon 2020 programme hosted by the Law and Anthropology Department at the Max Planck Institute, Halle, for which Dr Luc Leboeuf is Principal Investigator.

Anthony is currently carrying out research on the legal status of the Scottish wild cat, a protected species yet one that has not existed in genetically ’pure’ form for several millenia, because of interbreeding with feral domestic cats. This work is linked to the RULNAT programme (Judiciariser la nature. Animaux et environnement au tribunal) (ANR 2020–2024), convened by Daniela Berti (CNRS-CEH) in partnership with Vanessa Manceron (CNRS-LESC), Sandrine Revet (CNRS-CERI), and Vincent Chapaux (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

- anthropology of law
- religion
- Hinduism
- kinship and relatedness
- asylum seekers and refugees
- international development

Tamil Nadu ; Sri Lanka

Selected bibliography
2021. ’Uses and misuses of Country of Origin Information (COI) in the refugee status determination process.’ Cahiers de l’EDEM/Louvain Migration Case Law Commentary 2021 (June) : 4–19.

2020. Morality and law in the context of asylum claims.’ Pp. 103–22 in Emma Cox, Sam Durrant, David Farrier, Lyndsey Stonebridge & Agnes Woolley (eds.), Refugee Imaginaries : Research Across the Humanities. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press.

2019. Nick Gill & Anthony Good (eds.), Asylum Determination in Europe : Ethnographic Perspectives. London : Palgrave Macmillan.

2017. ’Law and anthropology : legal pluralism and "lay" decision-making.’ Pp.
211–238 in Dawn Watkins & Mandy Burton (eds), Research Methods in Law (2nd edition). London : Routledge.

2015. ’Folk models and the law.’ Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 47(3) : 423–437.

2015. Daniela Berti, Anthony Good & Gilles Tarabout (eds.). Of Doubt and Proof : Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment. Farnham : Ashgate.

2015. Anthony Good, Daniela Berti & Gilles Tarabout, ’Introduction : technologies of doubt in law and ritual.’ Pp. 1–17 in Berti, Good & Tarabout (eds.), Of Doubt and Proof : Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment. Farnham : Ashgate.

2015. ’The benefit of the doubt in British asylum claims and international cricket.’ Pp. 119–40 in Berti, Good & Tarabout (eds.), Of Doubt and Proof : Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment. Farnham : Ashgate.

2015. ’Anthropological evidence and Country of Origin Information in British asylum courts.’ Pp. 122–44 in Benjamin N. Lawrance & Galya Ruffer (eds), Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status : The Role of Witness, Expertise and Testimony. New York : Cambridge University Press.

2014. Robert Gibb & Anthony Good, ’Interpretation, translation and intercultural communication in refugee status determination procedures in the UK and France.’ Language and Intercultural Communication 14(3) : 385–399. [Reprinted in Alison Phipps & Rebecca Kay (eds), Languages in Migratory Settings : Place, Politics, and Aesthetics. London : Routledge (2015).]

2013. Robert Gibb & Anthony Good, ’Do the facts speak for themselves ? Country of Origin Information in French and British refugee status determination procedures.’ International Journal of Refugee Law 25(2) : 291–322.

2011. ’Witness statements and credibility assessments in the British asylum courts.’ Pp 94–122 in Livia Holden (ed), Cultural Expertise and Litigation : Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives. London & New York : Routledge.

2009. ’Persecution for reasons of religion under the 1951 Refugee Convention.’ Pp 27-48 in Thomas G. Kirsch & Bertram Turner (eds), Permutations of Order : Religion and Law as Contested Sovereignties. Farnham & Burlington VT : Ashgate (2009).

2008. ‘Cultural evidence in courts of law.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) S47-S60. [Reprinted at pp. 44-57 in Matthew Engelke (ed), The Objects of Evidence : Anthropological Approaches to the Production of Knowledge. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell (2009).]

2007. Anthropology and Expertise in the Asylum Courts. London : Routledge-Cavendish.

2006. ’Gender-based persecution : the case of South Asian asylum applicants in the UK.’ Pp 274–99 in Navnita Chandra Behera (ed), Gender, Conflict and Migration. Delhi : Sage.

2006. ‘Writing as a kind of anthropology : alternative professional genres.’ Pp 91–115 in Geert De Neve & Maya Unnithan-Kumar (eds), Critical Journeys : the Making of Anthropologists. Aldershot : Ashgate.

2004. Worship and the Ceremonial Economy of a Royal South Indian Temple. Lampeter : Edwin Mellen Press.

2004. ’‘‘Undoubtedly an expert’’ ? Anthropologists in British asylum courts.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 10 : 113–33.

2004. ‘Expert evidence in asylum and human rights appeals : an expert’s view.’ International Journal of Refugee Law 16 : 358–80.

2003. ’Anthropologists as expert witnesses : political asylum cases involving Sri Lankan Tamils.’ Pp. 93–117 in Richard Wilson & Jonathan Mitchell (eds.) Human Rights in Global Perspective. Routledge : London.

2001. ’The structure and meaning of daily worship in a South Indian temple.’ Anthropos 96 : 491–507.

2001. ’Multiple meanings in South Indian temple worship.’ Culture and Religion 2 : 239–60.

2001. ’Mamul and modernity in a South Indian temple.’ Modern Asian Studies 35 : 821–870.

2000. ’Congealing divinity : time, worship and kinship in South Indian Hinduism.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 6 : 273–292.

2000. ’Power and fertility : divine kinship in South India.’ Pp 323–53 in Monika Böck & Aparna Rao (eds.), Culture, Creation, and Procreation : Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice. Berghahn Books : Oxford.

1999. ’The burning question : sacred and profane space in a South Indian temple town.’ Anthropos 94 : 69–84.

1999, ’The car and the palanquin : rival accounts of the 1895 riot in Kalugumalai, South India.’ Modern Asian Studies 33 : 23–66.

1991. The Female Bridegroom : A Comparative Study of Life-Crisis Rituals in South India and Sri Lanka. Oxford : Clarendon Press (OUP India edition published 1992).

1989. ’Law, legitimacy, and the hereditary rights of Tamil temple priests’, Modern Asian Studies 23 : 233–57.

1987. ’The religious, economic and social organisation of a South Indian temple.’ The Quarterly Journal of Social Affairs 3 : 1–25.

1987. ’Divine coronation in a South Indian temple.’ Pp 37-71 in V. Sudarsen, G. Prakash Reddy & M. Suryanarayana (eds.), Religion and Society in South India. B.P. Publ. Corp : Delhi.

1984. Alan Barnard & Anthony Good, Research Practices in the Study of Kinship (ASA Research Methods in Social Anthropology, 2). London & Orlando : Academic Press (paperback 1988).

1983. ’A symbolic type and its transformations : the case of South Indian ponkal.’ Contributions to Indian Sociology (n.s.) 17 : 223–44.

1982. ’The actor and the act : categories of prestation in South India.’ Man (N.S.) 17 : 23–41.

1981. ’Prescription, preference and practice : marriage patterns among the Kondaiyankottai Maravar of South India.’ Man (N.S.) 16 : 108–29. [Reprinted at pp. 187–204 in Robert J. Parkin & Linda Stone (eds.), Kinship and Family : an Anthropological Reader. (Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) Oxford : Blackwell : Oxford (2003)]

1980. ’Elder sister’s daughter marriage in South Asia.’ Journal of Anthropological Research 36 : 74–500. [Reprinted in S.M. Channa (ed.) Family and Marriage : a Critical Appraisal (International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, Vol. 10). Cosmo Publications : Delhi (1998)].