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Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History, 1400-1900 (Studies in Comparative World History)

Lauren Benton

17 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0521804140 / ISBN 13: 9780521804141
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2001
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in ...

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


This book advances a new perspective in world history, arguing that institutions and culture--and not just the global economy--serve as important elements of international order. Focusing on colonial legal politics and the interrelation of local cultural contests and institutional change, it uses case studies to trace a shift in plural legal orders--from the multicentric law of early empires to the state-centered law of the colonial and postcolonial world. Benton shows how Indigenous subjects across time were active in making, changing, and interpreting the law--and, by extension, in shaping the international order.


"Lauren Benton's important new book deserves a careful reading from both legal historians and historians of imperialism. ...Benton is to be congratulated for these insights, and for bringing such far-flung, complex subjects together into a compelling whole. Naturally, in so doing, she reaches conclusions with which not everyone will be comfortable, but that is what good history does." H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online

"Lauren Benton has written an original and fascinating book...a major contribution to the fields of history and law." Canadian Journal of Law and Society

"This valuable compilation of contexts, examples, and analyses constitutes a fascinating and accessible read for scholars across disciplines. ...Benton's research is impeccable in its careful conceptualization and the breadth and depth of its analysis." American Journal of Sociology

"This is a bold, sweeping, and highly innovative book...The sheer scale of this book, and its conceptual achievements, will make it a landmark in world history." American Historical Review

"The greatest strength of this book is its development of a sophisticated argument that can act as a touchstone for future research on global cultural history...Benton provides a powerful counterpoint to the overdetermined narrative of European expansion...this book is a landmark in the creation of a more complex modern global cultural history built on more than just expansion and resistance, but on a shifting negotiation of power, culture, difference, homogenization, identity, and rights." Journal of World History

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