Stages of Capital: Law, Culture, and Market Governance in Late Colonial India

Stages of Capital: Law, Culture, and Market Governance in Late Colonial India

by Ritu Birla, Ritu Birla, Birla
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822342685

ISBN-13: 9780822342687

Pub. Date: 01/14/2009

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India's market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the "free" circulation of capital, including measures regulating…  See more details below

Overview

In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India's market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the "free" circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture. Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or "vernacular" capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822342687
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/14/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 A Non-Negotiable Sovereignty?

1 The Proper Swindle: Commercial and Financial Legislation of the 1880s 33

2 Capitalism's Idolatry: The Law of Charitable Trusts, Mortmain, and the Firm as Family, c. 1870-1920 67

3 For General Public Utility: Sovereignty, Philanthropy, and Market Governance, 1890-1920 103

Part 2 Negotiating Subjects

4 Hedging Bets: Speculation, Gambling, and Market Ethics, 1890-1930 143

5 Economic Agents, Cultural Subjects: Gender, the Joint Family, and the Making of Capitalist Subjects, 1900-1940 199

Conclusion: Colonial Modernity and the Social Worlds of Capital 232

Notes 239

References 307

Index 329

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >