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Download Law and colonial cultures by Lauren Benton PDF

By Lauren Benton

This ebook advances a brand new viewpoint in international background, arguing that associations and culture--and not only the worldwide economy--serve as very important parts of foreign order. targeting colonial felony politics and the interrelation of neighborhood cultural contests and institutional swap, it makes use of case reports to track a shift in plural felony orders--from the multicentric legislations of early empires to the state-centered legislation of the colonial and postcolonial global. Benton exhibits how Indigenous topics throughout time have been energetic in making, altering, and analyzing the law--and, through extension, in shaping the foreign order.

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In addition to replicating a case study approach, each chapter focuses on a particular dynamic of legal politics and cultural change. Chapter 2 argues that jurisdictional fluidity was a consistent feature across diverse regions of the South Atlantic world. By forming a framework for the relation of communities in diaspora to host polities, the fragmented nature of the legal order supplied a known context for cross-cultural interactions. The next chapter shifts analysis to places where conquest 28 Legal Regimes and Colonial Cultures brought more decisive claims of legal authority over culturally different subject populations.

25 A different and in some senses opposite solution is simply to disregard institutions as secondary to economic forces and patterns – especially, in global narratives, to long-distance trade. Frank, for example, takes this view in arguing against a Western-centered account of capitalist institutions and their spread. Institutions, he argues, simply do not matter. 26 This view accomplishes its goal of debunking Eurocentrism. Western institutions were hardly “needed” for a global economy to develop; that economy emerged well 24 25 26 Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History.

Three elements of international order emerge out of contests over the shape of the legal order. The first, already alluded to, involves the location of political and legal authority. Institutional regimes (broadly defined as the repetition of structurally similar ways of organizing authority) make international regimes (narrowly defined as interstate agreements) possible by allowing political authorities to identify one another. Political authorities make assumptions about the similarities in the constitution of power inside other polities.

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