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In colonial Egypt, the state introduced legal reforms that claimed to liberate Egyptians from the inhumanity of pre-colonial rule and elevate them to the status of human beings. These legal reforms intersected with a new historical consciousness that distinguished freedom from force and the human from the pre-human, endowing modern law with the power to accomplish but never truly secure this transition. Samera Esmeir offers a historical and theoretical account of the colonizing operations of modern law in Egypt. Investigating the law, both on the books and in practice, she underscores the centrality of the "human" to Egyptian legal and colonial history and argues that the production of "juridical humanity" was a constitutive force of colonial rule and subjugation. This original contribution queries long-held assumptions about the entanglement of law, humanity, violence, and nature, and thereby develops a new reading of the history of colonialism.
This book analyses the states of emergency exposing the intersections between colonial law, international law, imperialism and racial discrimination.
What can we learn about the world of an ancient empire from the ways that people complain when they feel that they have been violated? What role did law play in people's lives? And what did they expect their government to do for them when they felt harmed and helpless? If ancient historians have frequently written about nonelite people as if they were undifferentiated and interchangeable, Ari Z. Bryen counters by drawing on one of our few sources of personal narratives from the Roman world: over a hundred papyrus petitions, submitted to local and imperial officials, in which individuals from the Egyptian countryside sought redress for acts of violence committed against them. By assembling these long-neglected materials (also translated as an appendix to the book) and putting them in conversation with contemporary perspectives from legal anthropology and social theory, Bryen shows how legal stories were used to work out relations of deference within local communities. Rather than a simple force of imperial power, an open legal system allowed petitioners to define their relationships with their local adversaries while contributing to the body of rules and expectations by which they would live in the future. In so doing, these Egyptian petitioners contributed to the creation of Roman imperial order more generally.
When is a war not a war? When it is undertaken in the name of democracy, against the forces of racism, sexism, and religious and political persecution? This is the new world of warfare that Neda Atanasoski observes in Humanitarian Violence, different in name from the old imperialism but not so different in kind. In particular, she considers U.S. militarism—humanitarian militarism—during the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the 1990s wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia. What this book brings to light—through novels, travel narratives, photojournalism, films, news media, and political rhetoric—is in fact a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics. In the fiction of the United States as a multicultural haven, which morally underwrites the nation’s equally brutal waging of war and making of peace, parts of the world are subject to the violence of U.S. power because they are portrayed to be homogeneous and racially, religiously, and sexually intolerant—and thus permanently in need of reform. The entangled notions of humanity and atrocity that follow from such mediations of war and crisis have refigured conceptions of racial and religious freedom in the post–Cold War era. The resulting cultural narratives, Atanasoski suggests, tend to racialize ideological differences—whereas previous forms of imperialism racialized bodies. In place of the European racial imperialism, U.S. settler colonialism, and pre–civil rights racial constructions that associated racial difference with a devaluing of nonwhite bodies, Humanitarian Violence identifies an emerging discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the potential targets of U.S. disciplining violence.
This is the first book dedicated to a systematic exploration of Kant's position on colonialism. Bringing together a team of leading scholars in both the history of political thought and normative theory, the chapters in the volume seek to place Kant's thoughts on colonialism in historical context, examine the tensions that the assessment of colonialism produces in Kant's work, and evaluate the relevance of these reflections for current debates on global justice and the relation of Western political thinking to other parts of the world.
High state official and judge of the Supreme Court or the Segunda Audiencia, and later first bishop of the state of Michoacan, Vasco de Quiroga is still celebrated for the alternative community models he established for the Purepecha Indians in the Northwestern state of Michoacan in Mexico. This study offers the most complete approach to date to the writings directly attributed to this state official of the Spanish Empire and also to the scholarship about him. This work provides critical readings of Quiroga's texts including the Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Hospitals of Santa Fe de Mexico and Michoacan, Información en Derecho, De Debellandis Indis and the Juicio de Residencia, and relates them to more widely know figures such as Ginés de Sepúlveda, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernal Díaz del Castillo and Francisco de Vitoria among others. This book will be of interest to all those engaged in the history of literature, legal studies, utopianism, Hispanic/Spanish studies of the Early Modern Period, Colonial Latin American Studies and Golden Age Studies.

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