New Books on South Asian Legal History

Bhuj doorwayLegal historians of South Asia have been busy!  I can think of 13 books that have appeared since 2009, namely:

  • Ritu Birla’s study of law and late colonial market governance (2009)
  • Mithi Mukherjee’s book on the intellectual legal history of colonial and postcolonial India (2010)
  • Nandini Chatterjee’s study of Christians and law in colonial India (2011)
  • Elizabeth Kolsky’s book on white violence and the rule of law (2011)
  • Chandra Mallampalli’s study of one interracial family’s legal history in South India (2011)
  • Rachel Sturman’s book on liberalism, religious law and women’s rights (2012)
  • Eleanor Newbigin’s study of the Hindu family and its legal history (2013)
  • my book on Parsi legal culture (2014)
  • Harshan Kumarasingham’s book on post-colonial Sri Lankan and Indian constitutional history (2014) and now his volume of selected writings by “Constitution-Maker” Sir Ivor Jennings (just out in spring 2015)
  • Abhinav Chandrachud’s study of judges of the Indian Supreme Court (2014) and now his history of the Bombay High Court judiciary (also just out in spring 2015)
  • James Jaffe’s study of custom and panchayats in colonial Indian legal history (also just out in spring 2015)

There are also recent studies of legal systems of our own time with a strong historical component. I’m thinking of:

  • Gopika Solanki’s study of religious family law, legal pluralism and gender equality (2011)
  • Shubhankar Dam’s legal history of ordinances in India (2013)
  • Yüksel Sezgin’s comparative study of religious family law in Israel, Egypt and India (2013)
  • Osama Siddique’s study of Pakistani courts and law (2013)
  • Narendra Subramanian’s book on personal law, cultural pluralism and gendered citizenship in India (2014)

And there have been special journal issues like these:

  • Law and History Review in
    • 2005 (Colonial Order, British Law: The Empire and India),
    • 2010 (Maneuvering the Personal Law System in Colonial India), and
    • 2014 (Travels of Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries)
  • Indian Economic and Social History Review in 2009 (Personal Law, identity politics and civil society in colonial South Asia)
  • Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History in 2014 (Law and the Spaces of Empire)

Plus there are more articles out than I can even begin to name. See my bibliography tab for a taste of these.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting caught up on all of this because I’m writing a literature review of South Asian Legal History for the Annual Review of Law and Social Science. It is due out in late 2015. Stay tuned for my take on the field’s history and development since 1947.