Skip to content

Insights from Diplomatic Archival Research on China’s Role in International Legal History: Book Talk–Recentering the World: China and the Transformation of International Law

Date&Time: May 24, 2023 (Wednesday), 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM (China time)

Speaker: Prof. Ryan Martínez Mitchell, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Moderator: Prof. Norman P. Ho, Peking University School of Transnational Law

Location (IN-PERSON PRESENTATION): STL Building, Room 209

Zoom Meeting ID and Passcode (for remote participants)882 3888 7729 (Passcode: 730046)

Language: English

Lecture Summary: Recentering the World recovers a richly contextual, detailed history of Western-imposed legal structures in China, as well as engagements with international law by Chinese officials, jurists, and citizens. Beginning in the Late Qing era, it shows how international law functioned as a channel for power relations, techniques of economic domination, as well as novel forms of resistance. The book also radically diversifies traditionally Eurocentric accounts of modern international law's origins, demonstrating how, by the mid-twentieth century, Chinese jurists had made major contributions to international organizations and the UN system, the international judiciary, the laws of armed conflict, and more. Drawing on extensive archival research, especially diplomatic materials, this book is a valuable guide to China's often conflicted role in international legal history, its reception and contention of concepts of sovereignty, property, obligation, and autonomy, and its gradual move from the 'periphery' to a shared spot at the 'center' of global legal order.

prev:Admissions Event: 2024 Wuhan and Xi'an Roadshow next:Peking University Alumni Career Panel