Introductory readings

P1060637Looking for an introduction to South Asian legal history?

Here are some easy ways in:

1. Encyclopedia articles & other reference works:

2. Literature reviews & surveys of related fields:

  • Michael R. Anderson, “Classifications and Coercions: Themes in South Asian Legal Studies in the 1980s,” South Asia Research 10 (1990):2, 158-77
  • Upendra Baxi, Toward a Sociology of Indian Law (Delhi: Satvahan, 1986)
  • Donald R. Davis, Jr., “A Historical Overview of Hindu Law” in Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr. and Jayanth K. Krishnan, eds, Hinduism and Law: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 17-27
  • Rajeev Dhavan, “Introduction” in Marc Galanter, Law and Society in Modern India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989), xiii-c
  • Rajeev Dhavan, “Means, Motives and Opportunities: Reflecting on Legal Research in India,” Modern Law Review 50 (1987):6, 725-49
  • Markus D. Dubber and Christopher Tomlins, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018): many chapters of interest here, especially on various approaches to legal history. On South Asia, see Lena Salaymeh, “Historical Research on Islamic Law” and Paul G. McHugh, “Imperial Law: The Legal Historian and the Trials and Tribulations of an Imperial Past.”
  • Durba Ghosh, “AHR Forum: Another Set of Imperial Turns?” American Historical Review (June 2012), 772-93
  • James Gordley, “Comparative Law and Legal History” in Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmerman, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Andrew Huxley, “Studying Theravada Legal Literature,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 20 (1997):1, 63-91
  • Renisa Mawani, “Law’s Archive,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 8 (2012): 337-65
  • Sally Engle Merry, “Law and Colonialism,” Law & Society Review 25 (1991):4, 889-922
  • Tamir Moustafa, “Law and Courts in Authoritarian Regimes,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 10 (2014), 281-99
  • Mitra Sharafi, “Indian Law” in Dubber and Tomlins, 839-57: on the future of Indian legal history as a field
  • Mitra Sharafi, “South Asian Legal History,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 11 (2015), 309-36: a retrospective on the field since 1947

(updated on 17 August 2018)