The tension between the ideology of liberty and government by law in British India shaped the development of colonial rule, and thus, Western legality


The Jurisprudence of Emergency examines British rule in India from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, tracing tensions between the ideology of liberty and government by law used to justify the colonizing power's insistence on a regime of conquest. Nasser Hussain argues that the interaction of these competing ideologies exemplifies a conflict central to all Western legal systems—between the universal, rational operation of law on the one hand and the absolute sovereignty of the state on the other. The author uses an impressive array of historical evidence to demonstrate how questions of law and emergency shaped colonial rule, which in turn affected the development of Western legality.
The pathbreaking insights developed in The Jurisprudence of Emergency reevaluate the place of colonialism in modern law by depicting the colonies as influential agents in the interpretation of Western ideas and practices. Hussain's interdisciplinary approach and subtly shaded revelations will be of interest to historians as well as scholars of legal and political theory.

Nasser Hussain was Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.

“. . . a work of commendable scholarship for serious researchers looking at law and the complex ways in which it is imbricated in the ideology and practices of rule.”
Social & Legal Studies 

“An inventive work of legal theory rooted in a series of legal historical case studies from the later British empire. . . It brims with analytical daring and insight.”
Law, Culture and the Humanities

“A thought-provoking series of essays on the complex relation between emergency and the rule of law and on the mutual influence of law in Britain and law in empire.
Law and History Review

“Especially useful for scholars concerned with locating law and empire as aspects of liberal modernity, where the rule of law and the rule of power maintain what we have to recognize, finally, as a strange and uncomfortable intimacy.”
Victorian Studies