Skip to main content

Rule of Law Intermediaries: Brokering Influence in Myanmar - Kristina Simion

Book Cover and title


Virtual Event


Thu 21 October 2021

The Reversing the Gaze project and the Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law presents

Rule of Law Intermediaries: Brokering Influence in Myanmar

Dr. Kristina Simion, Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs' Asia Programme

Commentators: Dr Monalisa Adhikari (Keele University) and Dr Deval Desai (University of Edinburgh)


View the promotional video on the ECCL Media page 


About this seminar

Dr. Kristina Simion will talk about her newly published book "Rule of Law Intermediaries: Brokering Influence in Myanmar". By focusing on the decade of Myanmar's political transformation, the book explores rule of law assistance through the practice and experience of intermediaries, their capital, strategies and challenges. How do intermediaries influence the field, and the ways in which the rule of law is brokered transnationally? And why do they matter? In the book, Kristina relates her research to law and sociology to bring to light these neglected players, focusing on who they are, the influence they have, their double agency and their crucial importance in establishing trust and translating rule of law. Relying on rich empirical data collected in Myanmar, the book shares the voices of the individuals that help to steer societal change within authoritarian confines. The seminar will also discuss the available theoretical and empirical strategies for exploring the work of intermediaries as well as questions of positionality and access to challenging research settings. More information about the book in the book flyer.


About the speaker

Dr Kristina Simion image

Dr. Kristina Simion is a Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs’ Asia Programme.

Her research concerns Myanmar and Southeast Asia where she focuses on rule of law and constitutional processes and state recognition and global relationships formed through bilateral and multilateral development. As a trained socio-legal scholar she is interested in parallel structures and the people that inhabit the ‘relational state’.

Kristina is also a specialist in the Swedish government, focusing on rule of law development assistance and Myanmar. She is a visiting fellow at the Department of Political & Social Change, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. She designed and delivers the course 'Law, Culture and Society in Asia' as part of Stockholm University's Master Program in Global Asian Studies at the Department of Political Science.

She is the author of 'Rule of Law Intermediaries: Brokering Influence in Myanmar' (Cambridge University Press, 2021).


About the Politics and Methods of Comparison Seminar Series

This series of discussions and events engages with how we think, observe, and comprehend legal phenomena, practices, objects, relations in a comparative fashion. We are reminded that legal notions, and our understanding of them - such as “the rule of law”, “the state”, “bureaucracy”, or “rights” – cross many boundaries today: geographic, disciplinary, cultural, political, social, and more. At the same time, in comparative work, we demand some way of thinking about these notions such that they can be separated out and compared. How can we do both at once – or, indeed, should we?

Bringing a range of scholars from the disciplines of law, political science, international development, sociology, economics and anthropology, the series will explore the kinds of methodological reflexivity and sensitivity that can aid in, problematize, and challenge comparative work about big legal notions – particularly work that spans the Global North and South.

The first strand of discussions in the series will engage with the notion of the “rule of law”, from sociological studies of efforts to “promote” it in the Global South, to the use of comparative literature to reveal its colonial pasts and futures at the international level.

Visit the Reversing the Gaze project page for further information on the seminar series


This event is free and open to all but registration is required (link below).

Event Link

Register on Zoom