Polygamy, Policy and Postcolonialism in English Marriage Law

A Critical Feminist Analysis

By Zainab Naqvi

Published

Jan 1, 2023

Page count

248 pages

Series

Law, Society, Policy

ISBN

978-1529209693

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jan 1, 2023

Page count

248 pages

Series

Law, Society, Policy

ISBN

978-1529210811

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Polygamy, Policy and Postcolonialism in English Marriage Law

Slaves, mistresses, concubines – the English courts have used these terms to describe polygamous wives in the past, but are they still seen this way today?

Using a critical postcolonial feminist lens, this book provides a contextualised exploration of English legal responses to polygamy. Through the legacies of British imperialism, the book shows how attitudes to polygamy are shaped by indifference and hostility towards its participants. This goes beyond the law, as shown by the stories of women shared throughout the book negotiating their identities and relationships in the UK today.

Through its analysis, the book demonstrates how polygamy and polygamous wives are subjected to imperialist and orientalist discourses which dehumanise them for practising a relationship that has existed for millennia.

Zainab Batul Naqvi is Senior Lecturer in Law and Fair Outcomes Champion at De Montfort University.

Introduction: Polygamous Marriages in English Law and Women’s Lives Today

Conceptualising English Legal and Judicial Responses to Polygamy: A Postcolonial Feminist-Inspired Approach

Polygamy in England: History, Religion and Law

Constructing Polygamy: Racism, Imperialism, Orientalism and Sexism in the English Courts

Tensions in Religion and Culture

Women and Marriage: Gender, Harm, Patriarchy and Equality

Religion, Recognition, Women and Marriage Law

Concluding Thoughts and Reflections