Hoko Horii is assistant professor at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (Leiden Law School) in the Netherlands, and a post-doctoral fellow at Kobe University, Japan. She studies the concept of agency in law, by examining the background and practice of ‘age of consent’ laws in three countries: Japan, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. Her research has involved fieldwork interviewing people who married when considered "children" by international definitions (i.e. under 18 years of age). Her research challenges the widespread international framing of youthful marriage as forced unions where the younger party lacks agency.
Her 2020 PhD thesis is provocatively titled "Child marriage as a choice: rethinking agency in international human rights". For more of her work, see the following:
- Horii, H. (2020). Walking a thin line: Taking children’s decision to marry seriously? Childhood, Vol. 27(2): 254–270.
- Abstract: "This article provides empirical evidence on children’s agency and capacity in making the decision to marry. Case studies from my fieldwork in Bali contrast the commonly represented image of child marriage as a forced marriage, by demonstrating that in many cases children themselves make the decision to marry. However, considering social power dynamics, is such a decision really the child’s? The analysis shows that the current international child marriage framework fails to walk the thin line between empowerment and protection of children. Policies instead should be designed to encourage their participation in decision making and stimulate their resilience in their life after marriage."
- Horii H. (2018). Child marriage, not all alike. Inside Indonesia.
- Grijns, M. and Horii, H. (2018). Child Marriage in a Village in West Java (Indonesia): Compromises between Legal Obligations and Religious Concerns. Asian Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 5(2): 453-466.
- Horii H. (2019). A blind spot in international human rights framework: A space between tradition and modernity within the child marriage discourse. The International Journal of Human Rights, 24(8), 1–23.
- Horii H. (2019). Pluralistic legal system, pluralistic human rights? Teenage pregnancy, child marriage and legal institutions in Bali. The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 51(3), 292–319.
- Horii H. (2020). Legal reasoning for legitimation of child marriage in West Java: Accommodation of local norms at Islamic courts and the paradox of child protection. Journal of Human Rights Practice.
- Horii, H. (2021). Child Marriage as a ‘Solution’ to Modern Youth in Bali. Progress in Development Studies, Vol. 20(4).