Saha 2013 Law

Title Information

Author: Jonathan Saha

Title: Law, Disorder and the Colonial State

Subtitle: Corruption in Burma c.1900

Place: Basingstoke and New York

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Year: 2013

Pages: 184pp.

Series: Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies

ISBN-10: 0230358276 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9780230358270 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 19th Century, 20th Century | Burmese History, English History | Prosecution: Police

Full Text

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Additional Information

Author: Jonathan Saha, Department of History, University of Bristol


  Preface (p. ix)
  Introduction (p. 1)
    Law and disorder (p. 3)
    State and society (p. 6)
    Subordinate officials (p. 10)
    Living with leviathan (p. 14)
  1 Making Misconduct (p. 16)
    Constructing an economy of discipline (p. 16)
    The arithmetic of punishment (p. 19)
    Clerical staff (p. 24)
    Myo-oks or miniature monarchs (p. 29)
    European subordinate officials (p. 36)
    Misconduct in delta (p. 42)
  2 The Career of Inspector Pakiri (p. 47)
    State power and subordinate officials (p. 47)
    '... of all the queer police of this queer country ...' (p. 50)
    Inspector Pakiri (p. 56)
    Players in a theatre state (p. 70)
  3 Whiter than White (p. 72)
    Anti-corruption and British authority (p. 72)
    Deputy commissioners as bureucratic despots (p. 74)
    The plot within the plot (p. 83)
    'Native' quarrels and white rule (p. 94)
  4 The Male State (p. 97)
    Gendered subjects, gendered state (p. 97)
    Women in Burma (and their henpecked husbands) (p. 99)
    Compromising situations (p. 107)
    Misconduct and gendered violence (p. 114)
    The fashioning of the male state (p. 124)
  Conclusion (p. 126)
    Corruption and the making of the modern state (p. 127)
  Notes (p. 133)
  Index (p. 162)


»The state in colonial Burma was not an easy entity to negotiate at the turn of the twentieth century. Policemen framed innocents for crimes they themselves had committed. Magistrates solicited bribes in exchange for acquittals in court. Forestry officials produced false documents. Clerks embezzled government funds. These were mundane and everyday acts.
Using previously unexplored archival sources, the daily reality of living under the Raj in this neglected corner of British India is reconstructed. Through the fascinating cases of misconduct uncovered in these documents this book argues that corruption was intrinsic to the making of the colonial legal order. Subordinate officials' daily abuses of power, and British tolerance of these abuses, served to reinforce racial divisions and enact the state as a masculine entity.« [Source: Palgrave Macmillan]

Added: November 23, 2013 | Last updated: November 23, 2013