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Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850 - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850

Richard J. Ross and Lauren Benton


This book advances our understanding of law and empire in the early modern world. It exposes new dimensions of legal pluralism in the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Ottoman empires. In-depth analyses probe such topics as the shifting legal privileges of corporations, the intertwining of religious and legal thought, and the effects of clashing legal authorities on sovereignty and subjecthood. Case studies show how a variety of individuals engage with the law and shape the contours of imperial rule. The book reaches from Peru to New Zealand to Europe to capture the varieties and conti ... More

Keywords: empires, early modern world, legal pluralism, imperial rule, corporations, sovereignty, subjecthood, law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780814771167
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814771167.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard J. Ross, author

Lauren Benton, editor

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1 Empires and Legal Pluralism

Lauren Benton and Richard J. Ross

Part I Composite Polities across Empires

2 “Bundles of Hyphens”

Philip J. Stern

3 Litigating Empire

Helen Dewar

Part II Political and Religious Imagination

5 Reconstructing Early Modern Notions of Legal Pluralism

Richard J. Ross and Philip J. Stern

Part III Constructing Imperial Jurisdiction

7 Magistrates in Empire

Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford

Part IV Concluding Perspectives

10 Laws’ Histories

Paul D. Halliday

11 Rules of Law, Politics of Empire

Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper