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Fates of Political Liberalism in the British Post-Colony: The Politics of the Legal Complex

  • Publication: Cambridge University Press
  • Research area: Law & Globalization

6/2014, Terence Halliday, Cambridge University Press

Cover of Fates of Political Liberalism in the British Post-Colony: The Politics of the Legal Complex

Fates of Political Liberalism in the British Post-Colony: The Politics of the Legal Complex

What explains divergences in political liberalism among new nations that shared the same colonial heritage? This book assembles exciting original essays on former colonies of the British Empire in South Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia that gained independence after World War II. The interdisciplinary country specialists reveal how inherent contradictions within British colonial rule were resolved after independence in contrasting liberal-legal, despotic, and volatile political orders. Through studies of the longue durée and particular events, this book presents a theory of political liberalism in the post-colony and develops rich hypotheses on the conditions under which the legal complex, civil society, and the state shape alternative postcolonial trajectories around political freedom. This provocative volume presents new perspectives for scholars and students of postcolonialism, political development, and the politics of the legal complex, as well as for policy makers and publics who struggle to construct and defend basic legal freedoms.

  • Presents a new empirically-based theory that explains why some countries protect basic legal freedoms after independence and others do not
  • Shows how new nations resolve contradictions of colonialism in three different ways - liberal-legal, despotic, volatile
  • Reveals the importance of the legal complex (lawyers, judges, and so on) for the fates of basic legal and political rights in a country

Contributors include Rohit De, Charles R. Epp, Manoj Mate, Jothie Rajah, Mark Fathi Massoud, Deepika Udagama, Andrew Harding, Amanda Whiting, Sadaf Aziz, Shoaib A. Ghias, Daud Munir, Jeremy Gould, Peter Von Doepp, and Malcolm M. Feeley.

Available for purchase on the Cambridge University Press website.

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