Πέμπτη 19 Νοεμβρίου 2015

Legal Orientalism - China

Ένα από τα ωραιότερα βιβλία Συγκριτικού Δικαίου που έχω αποκτήσει τα τελευταία χρόνια, είναι το βιβλίο του Teemu Ruskola, "Legal Orientalism: China, the United States, and modern law" (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Ο τίτλος - και όχι μόνο - αποτελεί επιρροή του έργου του Edward Said, "Orientalism".

Κάποια αποσπάσματα για να πάρετε μια ιδέα:

"Law's Orient constitutes a wide and uneven terrain. This book describes the itinerary of one particular journey across that terrain, with a focus on China and the United States. Law is a key aspect of the political ontology of the modern world. It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for us to think of politics outside of the framework of states, and of states outside of law. At the same time, no understanding of the world today is complete without consideration of China's place in it. The difficulties begin when we seek to combine the inquiries into law and China. Where is China in law's world? And why is the United States an important part of the answer to that question?" (p. 1).

"China, according to received wisdom, was never colonized, except for the minor British and Portuguese outposts of Hong Kong and Macao, respectively, and the United States never established even its own little Hong Kong in the Chinese Empire. To be sure, in 1856-1857 the American commissioner in China tried to sell the idea of a U.S. occupation of Taiwan, arguing that under international law it "ought not to be allowed to exist in the hands of such a people" who could not even control the island's "cannibals". The commissioner went so far as to bring to the State Department's attention Americans who would be willing to assist in Taiwan's colonization, but the State Department nevertheless rejected the plan. President McKinley was equally unsuccessful half a century later in trying to talk his secretary of state into acquiring a "slice" of China, as if the Middle Kingdom were a pizza. Although the United States ultimately rejected the idea of territorial imperialism in China, it of course came to approve of it elsewhere, after its victory in the Spanish-American War left it with the remains of the Spanish empire in the New World and in Asia" (p. 113).

(αυτή τη συμπεριφορά, από κάποια "Δυτικά" κράτη προς άλλα "Ανατολικά", αυτή την αλαζονεία που προκαλεί μίση και συμπλέγματα, "πληρώνουμε" τώρα, φοβάμαι, "αθώοι" και "ένοχοι"...

"Hence the future of law's world is, above all, a political - indeed, a geopolitical - question. Although the possibilities of politics are always limited in some ways, by our constrained imaginations as much as by history, the future is never foreclosed. As the global distribution of universality and particularity is being recalibrated - and there is no question that it is - it would be futile to predict what the new equilibrium might be. Perhaps China will in fact one day submit to rule-of-law in its modern Euro-American form, thereby confirming its universality. Or maybe it will recast law's rule in the form of an evolving Chinese universalism - an Oriental legalism, as it were. If law can resignify China, we must be prepared to accept that China can also Sinify law" (p. 233).

Ένα καταπληκτικό βιβλίο....

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