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Book Discussion: Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia

When: Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Room 313, Third floor, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia book coverWe are delighted to invite Dr Priyasha Saksena (University of Leeds) to Queen Mary, University of London to discuss her new book 'Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia.’

Governed by local rulers, the princely states of colonial South Asia were subject to British paramountcy whilst remaining legally distinct from directly ruled British India. Their legal status and the extent of their rights remained the subject of feverish debates through the entirety of British colonial rule. This book traces the ways in which the language of sovereignty shaped the discourse surrounding the legal status of the princely states to illustrate how the doctrine of sovereignty came to structure political imagination in colonial South Asia and the framework of the modern Indian state.

Dr Saksena will be in conversation with Dr Dimitri Van Den Meerssche (Queen Mary).

Speaker bio

Dr Priyasha Saksena is a lecturer in law at the University of Leeds. She is a legal historian who focuses on the historical development of legal concepts and institutions within the British Empire. She is particularly interested in the relationship between international law and colonialism, and her doctoral dissertation was a history of the doctrine of sovereignty in colonial South Asia.

Priyasha joined the University of Leeds in 2019. She is formerly a graduate of Harvard University (SJD) and the National Law School of India University (BA LLB); and was previously a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History.

Dr Dimitri Van Den Meerssche is a Lecturer in Law and Fellow of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) at Queen Mary University of London. Dimitri’s current research studies the impact of new digital technologies on global security governance, with a focus on counterterrorism and border control. He is interested in the forms of inequality and exclusion enacted by practices of algorithmic governance, and how these practices impact political subjectivity and the prospects of collective action. This work is inspired by critical security studies, feminist technoscience, infrastructure and design theory, and critical black studies.

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