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Title: Il contributo di George Thomas Staunton (1781-1859) al dibattito europeo sulle leggi e la giustizia cinesi tra ’700 e ’800
Authors: Abbattista, Guido 
Keywords: Enlightenment views of ChinaChinese lawjusticeBritish expansion in AsiaSinology
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Guido Abbattista, “Il contributo di George Thomas Staunton (1781-1859) al dibattito europeo sulle leggi e la giustizia cinesi tra ’700 e ’800”, in: Maria Carolina Foi (a cura di), “Diritto e letterature a confronto. Paradigmi, processi, transizioni”, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 202-235
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.
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-88-8303-740-5
eISBN: 978-88-8303-741-2
Appears in Collections:Diritto e letterature al confronto. Paradigmi, processi, transizioni

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