Law and Colonial Cultures, a comparative legal history that focuses on five centuries of “global legal regimes” (p. 3)—particularly the global legal order linked to colonial rule in the Americas, Asia, and Africa—should become an influential book. This challenging study touches on a broad range of topics, including the relationship between ecclesiastic and secular law in the Iberian peninsula, European relations with Africans in the early modern period, legal pacts between maroon communities and imperial authorities in the Americas, the legal regime for slave captivity and redemption in the Atlantic world, the legal status of indigenous peoples in nineteenth-century South Africa and Australia, and state building and the legal status of foreigners in nineteenth-century Uruguay. The work insightfully combines a relatively traditional, though comparative, emphasis on institutions with postmodern elements of discourse analysis and cultural history.

This global legal regime is understood...

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