Stewart Motha: Archiving Sovereignty: Law, History, Violence

University of Michigan Press, USA, 2018, 224 pp, £19.95 (pbk), ISBN: 978-0472053865


This is a review of the book Archiving Sovereignty by Stewart Motha. Typical of critical legal writing, the monograph challenges our conditioned perception about the sovereign State. As such, it provides us with access to an archive of sovereign violence created by the law. It is argued that judicial decisions sustain and recreate sovereign power by way of destruction of facts. The focus here is on states with imperial histories, taking as case studies several islands in the Indian ocean region.

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Correspondence to Susanna Menis.

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Menis, S. Stewart Motha: Archiving Sovereignty: Law, History, Violence. Fem Leg Stud 28, 97–99 (2020).

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  • State sovereignty
  • Law
  • History
  • Violence
  • Indian ocean region