Stages of Capital: Law, Culture, and Market Governance in Late Colonial India
English | December 24, 2008 | ISBN-10: 0822342685 | 360 pages | scan PDF | 14,6 Mb
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 understudied 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.