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Jothie Rajah

Jothie Rajah headshot

Research Professor

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Ph.D., University of Melbourne; LL.B., National University of Singapore; B.A., National University of Singapore

Curriculum vitae


Jothie Rajah is a full-time appointee to faculty of the ABF. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She was awarded the Law Faculty's 2010 Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize for her work, Legislating Illiberalism: Law, Discourse & Legitimacy in Singapore, which also won the University of Melbourne's Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis and an…

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Research focus

The intersections of law, language, and power in the following areas: law, legitimacy and authoritarianism; international organizations and the global public sphere in constructions of norms for the rule of law; and the relationship between law, religion and national identity.


Rule of Law Discourses

‘Rule of law’ is a concept and category that is incessantly invoked in the international public domain. At different times and in different hands, a range of different meanings has…

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Cover of Discounting Life: Necropolitical Law, Culture, and the Long War on Terror Discounting Life: Necropolitical Law, Culture, and the Long War on Terror
Cambridge University Press
“Representing Transnational Law”
The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law
The Routledge Handbook on Law and Society

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Transnational Law as Drama
Jul 2016
An Ethnography of Rule of Law Discourses: Lawyer-Soldiers and the Rule of Law
Jun 2016
Making Sense of Law & Order
Jun 2016

All presentations »

Professional Service & Recognition


  • Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize (Awarded annually by Melbourne Law School to the graduate research student judged to have presented the best dissertation and to have met an overall level of excellence required for the award), 2010
  • Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in the Ph.D. Thesis (awarded annually by Melbourne University to the best six dissertations across disciplines), 2010
  • Honorable Mention, Law & Society Association Dissertation of the Year Award, 2011    
  • Melbourne International Fee Remission Scholarship and Melbourne Research Scholarship, awarded by Melbourne University
  • National University of Singapore Awards: 1989-90 Special Book Prize in English Literature; 1990-91 Special Book Prize in English Literature; 1991-92 Harvard Club Book Prize; 1991-92 ACBC Gold Medal

Professional Activities

  • Participant, Colloquium, Institute for Global Law & Policy, Harvard Law School, June 2016
  • Faculty, Transnational Law Summer Institute, King’s College London, Summer 2015 and 2016
  • Member, Appointments Committee, ABF, 2015/2016
  • Member, Research Committee, ABF, 2015/2016
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Law & Society Association, 2015-2018
  • Member, Editorial Board, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, 2015 onwards
  • Participant, Advanced Writing Workshop, Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School, June 2015
  • Member, Editorial Board, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 2014 onwards
  • Chair, ABF Visiting Scholars Committee, 2014 onwards
  • Early Career Workshop Participant, Law & Society Association Annual Conference, Minnesota, May 2014
  • Junior Faculty, Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha, January 2014
  • Lecturer, Eric Castren Institute of International Law & Human Rights Summer School, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Summer 2013
  • Fellow of the SIAS Summer Institute Regulating World Society: Law, Governance and the Quest for Global Justice, Wissenschaftskollegzu Berlin, and National Humanities Center, North Carolina, Summer 2011 and 2012
  • Co-chair, ABF Seminar Series, 2012-2014
  • Co-Founder and Co-Convenor (with Wesley Pue and Binyamin Blum), Collaborative Research Network 15, British Colonial Legalities, Law & Society Association, 2011-2014

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