This essays analyses George Thomas Staunton’s translation of the Qing so-called ‘penal’ code (1810), on the background of the century-old European debate on the laws and justice of China and in the light of the important changes in Sino- Western relationships at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In so doing, it tries to test Teemu Ruskola’s notion of “legal Orientalism”, by showing that Western views of the Chinese law and judicial system, particularly in the culture of the Enlightenment, were in fact more nuanced than this notion would imply. The meaning and intention of Staunton’s translation are assessed as an explicit attempt to counter current representations of Chinese penal justice as cruel and inhuman and Chinese law as inadequate to protect the subjects’ interests, two views on which many early-nineteenth century interpretations of China as a barbarous and backward nation depended

Il contributo di George Thomas Staunton (1781-1859) al dibattito europeo sulle leggi e la giustizia cinesi tra ’700 e ’800

ABBATTISTA, GUIDO
2016

Abstract

This essays analyses George Thomas Staunton’s translation of the Qing so-called ‘penal’ code (1810), on the background of the century-old European debate on the laws and justice of China and in the light of the important changes in Sino- Western relationships at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In so doing, it tries to test Teemu Ruskola’s notion of “legal Orientalism”, by showing that Western views of the Chinese law and judicial system, particularly in the culture of the Enlightenment, were in fact more nuanced than this notion would imply. The meaning and intention of Staunton’s translation are assessed as an explicit attempt to counter current representations of Chinese penal justice as cruel and inhuman and Chinese law as inadequate to protect the subjects’ interests, two views on which many early-nineteenth century interpretations of China as a barbarous and backward nation depended
978-88-8303-740-5
978-88-8303-741-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2887724
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