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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400–1900

ISBN13: 9780521707435
Published: February 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £20.99

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A Search for Sovereignty maps a new approach to world history by examining the relation of law and geography in European empires between 1400 and 1900.

Lauren Benton argues that Europeans imagined imperial space as networks of corridors and enclaves, and that they constructed sovereignty in ways that merged ideas about geography and law. Conflicts over treason, piracy, convict transportation, martial law, and crime created irregular spaces of law, while also attaching legal meanings to familiar geographic categories such as rivers, oceans, islands, and mountains.

The resulting legal and spatial anomalies influenced debates about imperial constitutions and international law both in the colonies and at home. This original study changes our understanding of empire and its legacies and opens new perspectives on the global history of law.

Legal History
1. Introduction: anomalies of empire
2. Treacherous places: Atlantic riverine regions and the law of treason
3. Sovereignty at sea: jurisdiction, piracy, and ocean regionalism
4. Island chains: military law and convict transportation
5. Landlocked: colonial enclaves and the problem of quasi-sovereignty
6. Conclusion: bare sovereignty and empire.