My peer-reviewed article, “Nikah Express: Malay Polygyny and Marriage-Making at the Malaysian-Thai Border”, has just been published in Asian Studies Review.
In this article, I show how bureaucratic restrictions to marriage in Malaysia compel many couples to elope to Southern Thailand. As a result, the Malaysian and Thai Islamic authorities must collaborate to streamline the marriage procedures in the Islamic Committees of Southern Thailand, to ensure that the eloped marriages contracted here are legally “translatable” and can be registered in Malaysian Syariah Courts. The article shows how state intervention in cross-border marriages carry detrimental consequences in allowing unhindered access to polygyny, and leaving many polygynous wives in precarious marriages that will likely end in divorce.
This article would be of interest to scholars and readers looking to know more about Malay marriage, intimacy, and polygyny, the transnational processes of bureaucratization of Islam in Southeast Asia, and how the two phenomena develop in tandem in surprising ways in this part of the world.
If you’re interested in reading the article, but don’t have institutional access to it, please write to me.