The International Network of Scholars Researching Unregistered Marriages is a collective of international scholars working on the issue of unregistered marriages from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and jurisdictions.
Non-state registered Muslim marriages, ‘religious-only’ marriages and informal marriages have increasingly become the focus of public policy debates both in Muslim-majority countries and in settings where Muslims are a minority. While the regulation and registration of marriages have a long history tied up with the emergence of the modern nation-state, during the last decades both state institutions and religious authorities have shown a renewed interest in debates about registration, the validity of non state-registered marriages and the effects of non-registration.
An often-simultaneous discourse has also emerged pertaining to the private informal space occupied by couples that choose to bypass registration, and the manner and form of intervention within this private space by other interested parties, including by parents, kin, community and/or religious bodies.
Unregistered marriages are precipitated by a range of different social, normative and cultural issues, and are very much tied into discourses around sexual freedom and autonomy of the individuals involved. The normativity surrounding the religious marriage ceremony and its perceived authority are often at the heart of the empirical research findings.
This site is intended to provide a focal point for the INSRUM, and will be updated regularly with details about events, publications, calls for papers, and other relevant information.