Léon Buskens is an anthropologist studying law and culture in Muslim societies. One of his main research interests is how Muslims shape Islam in everyday life, in relation to other practices and to religious teachings. He has a longstanding interest in Morocco, and has more recently also started to do some research in Indonesia (focusing on Maluku and Papua) for comparative purposes. Buskens focuses in his research on everyday understandings of Islamic law and customs; textual practices in Muslim societies in a historical perspective; and the history, theories and methods of orientalist and anthropological scholarship.
Léon Buskens studied anthropology, standard and Moroccan Arabic, and Islam, at Radboud University in Nijmegen, where he specialized in historical and Mediterranean anthropology. From 1987 he was a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Law of Leiden University. He did fieldwork and library research in Morocco on Islamic law and family relations, which resulted in a Ph.D. thesis defended in 1993. Since 1991 Buskens works as a lecturer on anthropology and Islamic law at the faculties of Humanities and Law of Leiden University. From 1998 until 2008 he also held a chair for Law and Culture of Islam at Utrecht University. Since 2010 Buskens is director of the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS). He is currently working at the Nederlands Instituut in Marokko (NIMAR).