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Title: Violence, sovereignty, and the making of criminal law in colonial India, 1857-1914
Author: McClure, Alastair
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 6149
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the relationship between law, sovereignty and violence in colonial India in the period 1857-1914. From murder, to corporal punishment, to jubilee amnesty, this thesis highlights two gaps within the scholarship of nineteenth-century Indian legal and political history. Firstly, that histories of colonial law have been reluctant to provide a political analysis of the relationship between crime, sovereignty and identity in the everyday. Secondly, the much-noted shift in political discourse from East India Company to British Crown rule in histories of imperial political philosophy has left unexplained the relationship between liberalism, the codification of criminal law, and the production of colonial legal-political subjectivity. This lacuna in scholarship has resulted in the construction of a limited theoretical framework for understanding the underlying politics at play in the histories of crime, law, and punishment. Ultimately this work provides such framework, allowing the writing of law and the act of crime to be brought into histories of political philosophy and colonial sovereignty. As a revisionist history of colonial politics and law the thesis therefore breaks new ground in respect to our broader understandings of colonial sovereignty and politics, the practice of colonial law, and the constitution of the colonial state in India.
Supervisor: Kapila, Shruti Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Indian History ; Criminal Law ; Violence