The International Leviathan: The British Imperial Institution and the East Asian Ab-intra States System, 1842-1943
Biography: After the completion of my master degree at Kyoto University (Japan), I moved to UCL. I published the article, 'An External Foundation of the Imperial Legal Institution: The construction of the British Commercial System in China, 1842-60' in Shirin (the Journal of History) [Takaki Nishiyama, 'An External Foundation of the Imperial Legal Institution: The construction of the British Commercial System in China, 1842-60, Shirin (the Journal of History), vol. 95 no. 2 (2012), pp. 70-107.].
Thesis Abstract: My PhD research, 'The International Leviathan: The British Imperial Institution and the East Asian Ab-intra States System, 1842-1943' is in the history of international law and international relations in East Asia from the mid nineteenth to mid twentieth century. The primary purpose of my research is to explore the function of international law and relevant legal instruments in the relationship between different world orders of East Asian and Euro-American countries. My research will show not only comparison or contrast between 'civilisations', but also their political, social and economic interaction through international law.
My research is interdisciplinary and relevant to British imperial history, East Asian international history and the history of international law. While the history of international law has previously been subordinated to the interests of international jurisprudence, this project will locate the development of international law in the historical context.
Particularly, my focus is on legal instruments in relation to the diplomatic and commercial transactions between the British Empire and East Asian countries. I will mainly use treatises on international law and official documents of the British, Chinese, Japanese, Korean governments.
Through this research, I intend to demonstrate a comprehensive view on the history of East Asian international law and relations. In turn, this project will indicate British imperial power in East Asia was based on international law and regulations, that is, the 'formal' foundation of 'informal empire'.
Primary Supervisor: Vivienne Lo