Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the relationship between international law and colonial practice across the 16th–19th centuries in a way which avoids the indulgence of believing that the law of nations was somehow abstracted from the material processes of colonial rule. It draws attention to two aspects of this history: one being the slow accretive process by which ideas of sovereignty were to form and mutate during the period between 1500 and 1900—from a notion of sovereign authority centred upon the coercive authority of the monarch, to the modern imagination of the ‘nation-state’. The other is the parallel transition from a post-feudal mercantile economy to one centered upon industrial production and finance capital. The chapter argues that this history may be understood in terms of a shift in the conceptualization of the juridical politics of space from one marked by the notion of dominium to that of imperium.

Keywords: international law, colonial practice, law of nations, sovereignty, mercantile economy, dominium, imperium

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.