Auditing Halal and Standardising Halal Expertise in Indonesia and Malaysia

Guest lecture

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen invites to this guest lecture by Eva Nisa from the Australian National University.


Southeast Asia’s halal (permissible according to Islamic principles) industry is thriving. The presence of Malaysia as the global leader in the halal industry and Indonesia as the world’s largest Muslim-majority country with a significant size of the halal market, is an important driver of the growth of the industry in the region. Drawing on ethnographic research in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang) and Indonesia (Jakarta), from 2021 to 2022,  this paper focuses on issues pertaining to the intensification of bureaucratisation of the halal industry. Both countries have introduced halal audit cultures, aspiring to be the global halal hub.What does the intensification of a halal audit culture mean for the halal actors, business players, consumers, supervisors, auditors and executives? As part of the solidification of a halal audit culture, halal industries in both countries are increasingly dependent on halal experts. The compulsory requirement of companies to appoint a halal executive in order to trade halal products, signifies rigorous governmentality in the name of maintaining global and local halal trust. However, this paper concludes that “producing” halal experts can also mean opening various “promising” avenues for interested parties. 

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen
33.1.18, Øster Farimagsgade 5,1353 København (City Campus), University of Copenhagen

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