Call for Papers: Conference ‘Law Between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire’

Hosted by the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights on 3-5 October 2016 in Helsinki

The Conference ‘Law Between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire’ proposes to discuss the legal languages and techniques through which colonial powers ruled non-European territories and populations throughout the modern age.  The aim of the Conference is to examine in detail the juridical practices and discourses of colonial powers when they exercised their supremacy over colonial subjects and disciplined them.

How was the “law of nations” understood when it was used for imperial purposes? Would domestic laws apply to colonial expansion? What laws might govern the groups concerned – indigenous population, settlers, slaves, indentured servants, subjects of third nations? What was the role of the idiom of international law in Europe’s colonial expansion? To what extent was colonial rule organised by domestic laws of a special character? How did special colonial laws and the “law of nature and nations” relate to each other? To what extent did any of these laws open an avenue to contesting colonial governance? How far did such techniques extend beyond the end of the period of formal colonialism and even decolonization?

To answer such questions, the relations between global and domestic laws in imperial expansion and colonial governance ought to be studied.

The deadline for submissions is March 1st, 2016

Further information