Tag Archives: PRC

New Publication: Maria Adele Carrai, “Sovereignty in China: A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840”

Sovereignty in China: A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840

Maria Adele Carrai, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Cambridge University Press, 2019

Publisher’s Link

https://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/law/public-international-law/sovereignty-china-genealogy-concept-1840

Publisher’s Description

This book provides a comprehensive history of the emergence and the formation of the concept of sovereignty in China from the year 1840 to the present. It contributes to broadening the history of modern China by looking at the way the notion of sovereignty was gradually articulated by key Chinese intellectuals, diplomats and political figures in the unfolding of the history of international law in China, rehabilitates Chinese agency, and shows how China challenged Western Eurocentric assumptions about the progress of international law. It puts the history of international law in a global perspective, interrogating the widely-held belief of international law as universal order and exploring the ways in which its history is closely anchored to a European experience that fails to take into account how the encounter with other non-European realities has influenced its formation.

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. International law and the sinocentric ritual system: a nineteenth-century clash of normative orders
2. Secularizing a sacred empire: early translations and uses of international law
3. China’s struggle for survival and the new Darwinist conception of international society (1895–1911)
4. China rejoining the world and its fictional sovereignty, 1912–1949
5. From Proletarian revolution to peaceful coexistence: sovereignty in the PRC, 1949–1989
Conclusion

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New Publication: Philip Thai, China’s War on Smuggling: Law, Economic Life, and the Making of the Modern State, 1842–1965

China’s War on Smuggling: Law, Economic Life, and the Making of the Modern State, 1842–1965

Philip Thai, Northeastern University

Columbia University Press, 2018

Available at Columbia University Press, Amazon, and independent bookstores. Orders through Columbia’s website are eligible for 30% discount using coupon code THAI or CUP30 at checkout.

Publisher’s Description

Smuggling along the Chinese coast has been a thorn in the side of many regimes. From opium and weapons concealed aboard foreign steamships in the Qing dynasty to nylon stockings and wristwatches trafficked in the People’s Republic, contests between state and smuggler have exerted a surprising but crucial influence on the political economy of modern China. Seeking to consolidate domestic authority and confront foreign challenges, states introduced tighter regulations, higher taxes, and harsher enforcement. These interventions sparked widespread defiance, triggering further coercive measures. Smuggling simultaneously threatened the state’s power while inviting repression that strengthened its authority.

Philip Thai chronicles the vicissitudes of smuggling in modern China—its practice, suppression, and significance—to demonstrate the intimate link between illicit coastal trade and the amplification of state power. China’s War on Smuggling shows that the fight against smuggling was not a simple law enforcement problem but rather an impetus to centralize authority and expand economic controls. The smuggling epidemic gave Chinese states pretext to define legal and illegal behavior, and the resulting constraints on consumption and movement remade everyday life for individuals, merchants, and communities. Drawing from varied sources such as legal cases, customs records, and popular press reports and including diverse perspectives from political leaders, frontline enforcers, organized traffickers, and petty runners, Thai uncovers how different regimes policed maritime trade and the unintended consequences their campaigns unleashed. China’s War on Smuggling traces how defiance and repression redefined state power, offering new insights into modern Chinese social, legal, and economic history.

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Coastal Commerce and Imperial Legacies: Smuggling and Interdiction in the Treaty Port Legal Order
2. Tariff Autonomy and Economic Control: The Intellectual Lineage of the Smuggling Epidemic
3. State Interventions and Legal Transformations: Asserting Sovereignty in the War on Smuggling
4. Shadow Economies and Popular Anxieties: The Business of Smuggling in Operation and Imagination
5. Economic Blockades and Wartime Trafficking: Clandestine Political Economies Under Competing Sovereignties
6. State Rebuilding and New Smuggling Geographies: Restoring and Evading Economic Controls in Civil War China
7. Old Menace in New China: Symbiotic Economies in the Early People’s Republic
Conclusion
Character List
Notes
Bibliography

For more information:
https://cup.columbia.edu/book/a/9780231185844

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