Heavenly principles? The translation of international law in 19th century China and the constitution of universality
European Journal of International law
Oxford University Press (OUP)
© The Author, 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of EJIL Ltd. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern international relation is established on the acceptance of the international law as the rules of conduct. However, how does this legal order originated from European jurisprudence acquire its universality? How did it, in the time of European colonial expansion, interact with other systems of law, which formed the socio-political foundation of those non-Western powers, such as China? These are the two main problematics of this study, which focuses on the translation of Western, particularly American jurist Henry Wheaton’s, writings and legal documents on international law in China in late 19th century. Taking a legal comparative perspective, this article argues that the clashes between China and the European colonial power by nature were the dispute between two jurisprudences. They reflect the realpolitik struggles between two powers as well as the limitation of 19th century international law based on the acceptance of a Euro-centric universalism.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 27 (4): pp. 1005-1023