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

A 2-day hybrid roundtable and panel discussion forms part of the official book launch for Dr Priyasha Saksena's new monograph.

Event Overview

Using rich material from archives in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Dr Priyasha Saksena’s new monograph Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia explores the history of the international law concept of sovereignty through an analysis of jurisdictional politics involving the princely states of colonial South Asia. Dr Saksena traces how a variety of actors used definitions of sovereignty to construct political orders in line with their interests and aspirations and thereby attempted to reconfigure the boundaries among the spheres of the national, the imperial, and the international. The book, therefore, explores the question of what constitutes a sovereign state, which has been central to international law for centuries. In doing so, the book offers a re-evaluation of the relationship between international law and empire as well as an argument to bring together the exciting and growing fields of South Asian history, imperial legal history, the history of political thought, and international legal history into a single frame.

The roundtable will bring together experts from a number of different fields and countries as discussants. At the follow-up panel the next day, discussants will present their research (published or works in progress). Attendees will have a conversation on common themes in their work, which will be supplemented by comments from ECRs/PGRs. s

Roundtable Speakers (6 March)
Karuna Mantena, Yale University
Professor Michael Lobban, Oxford 
Professor Stephen Legg, University of Nottingham
Professor Marie-Andrée Jacob, University of Leeds 
Dr Megan Donaldson, UCL 
Dr Parvathi Menon, SOAS
Dr Priyasha Saksena, University of Leeds 

Panel Speakers (7 March)

Dr Stephen Legg, University of Nottingham
Ntina Tzouvala, Australian National University
Professor Ilias Trispiotis, University of Leeds
Damarie Kalonzo, University of Leeds
Nina Herzog, University of Leeds
Dr Priyasha Saksena, University of Leeds

Event Details


Walking: The Liberty Building is a 30-minute walk from Leeds Rail Station. Exit the station into City Square. With the Queens Hotel behind you, walk straight up Park Row. Continue up Park Row until the first major junction. Cross straight over The Headrow and continue up Cookridge Street. At the next set of lights go straight on, passing Millennium Square on your left and Leeds City Museum on your right. Turn left on to Woodhouse Lane, a busy main road. You will pass Leeds Beckett University on your left. The University of Leeds campus begins in another 50 metres or so, on your left. To reach the Liberty Building, continue walking up Woodhouse Lane, then take a left onto Clarendon Road. Walk straight up Clarendon Road, then take a right onto Moorland Road. The Liberty Building is approximately 200 metres on your left.

By Bike: Bike racks are available outside The Liberty Building.

By Bus: For local bus information and timetables, visit First Leeds and Arriva Yorkshire.

By Taxi: A taxi to The Liberty Building takes approximately 10 minutes from Leeds Rail Station.