Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1262410
 
 

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State, Sovereignty, and the People: A Comparison of the 'Rule of Law' in China and India


Jonathan Ocko


North Carolina State University - Department of History; Duke University - School of Law

David Gilmartin


North Carolina State University - Department of History

September 2, 2008

Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1, February 2009

Abstract:     
This paper uses the concept of rule of law to compare Qing China and British India. Rather than using rule of law instrumentally, the paper embeds it in the histories of state power and sovereignty in China and India. Three themes, all framed by rule of law and rule of man as oppositional, yet paradoxically intertwined, notions, organize the paper's comparisons: the role of a discourse of law in simultaneously legitimizing and constraining the political authority of the state; the role of law and legal procedures in shaping and defining society; the role of law in defining an economic and social order based on contract, property, and rights. A fourth section considers the implications of these findings for the historical trajectories of China and India in the 20th century. Taking law as an instrument of power and an imagined realm that nonetheless also transcended power and operated outside its ambit, the paper seeks to broaden the history of rule of law beyond Euro-America.

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: September 3, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Ocko, Jonathan and Gilmartin, David, State, Sovereignty, and the People: A Comparison of the 'Rule of Law' in China and India (September 2, 2008). Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1, February 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1262410

Contact Information

Jonathan Ocko (Contact Author)
North Carolina State University - Department of History ( email )
Box 8108
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108
United States
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
David Gilmartin
North Carolina State University - Department of History
Box 8108
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108
United States
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