On 3d gravity as a Chern-Simons theory and its holographic relation to a 2d CFT boundary field theory (well before AdS/CFT was conceived from string theory):
Steven Carlip, Inducing Liouville theory from topologically massive gravity, Nuclear Physics B Volume 362, Issues 1–2, 16 September 1991, Pages 111-124 (doi:10.1016/0550-3213(91)90558-F)
Steven Carlip, Lectures in (2+1)-Dimensional Gravity, J. Korean Phys. Soc. 28: S447-S467, 1995 (arXiv:gr-qc/9503024)
Steven Carlip, Quantum Gravity in 2+1 Dimensions, Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics (2003) (publisher)
Steven Carlip, Quantum Gravity in 2+1 Dimensions: The Case of a Closed Universe, Living Rev. Rel. 8:1, 2005 (arXiv:gr-qc/0409039)
Steven Carlip, My Research – (2+1)-Dimensional quantum gravity
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