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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to situate imperial law in terms of legal historical research today. It argues that the new-style imperial legal studies have shed the historiography of reception’s fixation upon imperial law as inherently imperative without discarding the interest in institutional culture and its generation of legal meaning. Today’s historian of imperial law will encounter terms such as ‘governmentality’, ‘police’, and ‘subaltern’. They will be seeing law as process and imbricated with other socially constructed activity rather than as fixed and closed. They will be finding a travelling imperium, an ocean-going legalism with nodes and networks rather than one set sedentarily inside a series of fragmenting and territorialized proto-nationial peripheries.

Keywords: legal history, imperial law, imperial legal studies, legal historiography, legal historical research

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