Sovereignty in China: A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840
Maria Adele Carrai, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Cambridge University Press, 2019
This book provides a comprehensive history of the emergence and the formation of the concept of sovereignty in China from the year 1840 to the present. It contributes to broadening the history of modern China by looking at the way the notion of sovereignty was gradually articulated by key Chinese intellectuals, diplomats and political figures in the unfolding of the history of international law in China, rehabilitates Chinese agency, and shows how China challenged Western Eurocentric assumptions about the progress of international law. It puts the history of international law in a global perspective, interrogating the widely-held belief of international law as universal order and exploring the ways in which its history is closely anchored to a European experience that fails to take into account how the encounter with other non-European realities has influenced its formation.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. International law and the sinocentric ritual system: a nineteenth-century clash of normative orders 2. Secularizing a sacred empire: early translations and uses of international law 3. China’s struggle for survival and the new Darwinist conception of international society (1895–1911) 4. China rejoining the world and its fictional sovereignty, 1912–1949 5. From Proletarian revolution to peaceful coexistence: sovereignty in the PRC, 1949–1989 Conclusion