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Ironies of Colonial Governance
Law, Custom and Justice in Colonial India


Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Author: James Jaffe, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107087927

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About the Authors
  • The Indian village council, or panchayat, has long held an iconic place in India. Ironies of Colonial Governance traces the history of that ideal and the attempts to adapt it to colonial governance. Beginning with an in-depth analysis of British attempts to introduce a system of panchayat governance during the early nineteenth century, it analyses the legacies of these actions within the structures of later colonial administrations as well as the early nationalist movement. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which the ideologies of panchayat governance evolved during this period and to the transnational exchange and circulation of panchayat ideologies.

    • Analyses colonial law within a transnational perspective, thereby providing a comparative imperial perspective on the evolution of law and justice
    • Combines the history of ideas and the history of colonial administration in order to illustrate the imperial circulation of ideas and trace the ideological sources of colonial law and administration
    • Focuses on the ideological and practical changes in the perceptions of customary law, customary courts and local administration within India, making this of interest to those seeking to understand how ideas affect practice in colonial administration as well as how practice affected ideology
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107087927
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 1 map 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Discoveries and Adaptations:
    1. The rise and fall of the panchayat in the Bombay Presidency
    2. Bringing justice to every man's door
    3. Appeals and the language of petitioning
    4. The construction of panchayat legality
    5. The panchayat and trial by jury, I: the civil trial
    6. The panchayat and trial by jury, II: military and criminal justice
    7. The panchayat debate in the Bengal Presidency
    Part II. Lineages and Legacies:
    8. The panchayat from village republic to municipality
    9. The panchayat and the building of civil society
    10. The panchayat legacy.

  • Author

    James Jaffe, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
    James Jaffe is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater and a fellow at the Institute for Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison. His current work on transnational legal history has received support from the National Science Foundation, the US-UK Fulbright Commission and the Ford Foundation.

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