Dr Priyasha Saksena authors new monograph “Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia”
The book places the princely states of colonial South Asia at the heart of debates over the boundaries of international law.
Dr Priyasha Saksena’s new monograph, titled “Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia” was published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in June 2023.
Using rich material from archives in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the book 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 monograph has received endorsements from a range of eminent scholars: Professor Lauren Benton, a world historian at Yale University; Professor Mitra Sharafi, a South Asian legal historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Professor Angma Jhala, a historian of the princely states at Bentley University; and Dr Edward Kolla, a historian of international law at Georgetown University, Qatar.
Roundtable and panel discussion
Dr Saksena will be organising a roundtable and panel discussion as part of an official book launch during 6–7 March 2024. Panellists include Professor Karuna Mantena, a political theorist at Yale University; Professor Michael Lobban, a legal historian at the University of Oxford; Professor Stephen Legg, a historical geographer at the University of Nottingham; Dr Ntina Tzouvala, a historian of international law at Australian National University; Dr Megan Donaldson, a historian of international law at University College London; and Dr Parvathi Menon, an international law scholar at SOAS University of London. More information on booking a place at the event will be available later this year.