Examining new archival material from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, One Law for All? discusses legal transfer and practice in imperial and post-imperial societies, including Russia, Latin America, Africa, and East Asia. The essays collected here analyze the legal sphere as a site of struggle, both in debate and in everyday life, from the level of universal aspirations to particular local practices. The contributors explore the ways in which both lawmakers and ordinary people talk about and actively use the law, thereby telling a story of contested European hegemony, local assertions, and multiple legal borrowings.
Stefan B. Kirmse is a lecturer and research fellow in the Department of Eastern European History at Humboldt University, Berlin.