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The relationship between Conrad’s Malay fiction and colonialism is a prominent subject of commentary now, and has been for some time. Most scholars would point to Chinua Achebe’s important article “An Image of Africa” as the initiation into the interest in Conrad and colonialism, but if fact decades previously, Florence Clemens had begun this conversation in her ground-breaking commentary on Conrad’s Malay fiction. At the time Florence Clemens was writing, almost nothing had been written on the Conrad’s colonial world, and for many years her work thus was relatively unknown and relatively difficult to obtain. However, Clemens’ work is significant, and its appearance in Brill’s Conrad Studies series now makes this important study readily available to scholars.
This book explores how the fathers of humanist jurisprudence contributed to the emergence of ius gentium as the common law not simply of Europe, but of all mankind, in the early sixteenth century. They did so by so thoroughly reinterpreting terms, idioms, and categories preserved within Justinian’s Digest that they fundamentally transformed them to address sources and limits of political and legal authority in the broader context of early-modern state formation.

In the process, they offered theories of universal jurisprudence grounded in the attributes and actions of man and states that anticipated some of the most salient features of modern sovereignty and rights. Theories that we tend to identify with post-Reformation political and legal thought, rather than the early Renaissance.
The Exchange of Ideas and Political Collaborations between China's Men of Guns and Men of Letters, 1919-1923