Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2009
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Stanford University
The Jasak's Court: Legal Institution and Practice in Qing Mongolia

My research seeks to understand what kind of legal pluralism results when a-.1.egal order of an agrarian civilization is introduced across a cultural boundary to a pastoral society. I will examine the transplantation of the Sino-Manchu legal order to Mongolia in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Using compendia of regulations and court cases concerning theft, murder, debt, and disputes over land and household affairs, I aim to find out how the Mongol court in the banner administration functioned within the bureaucratic structure of the empire to mediate social tension in frontier society. Some of the fundamental questions include: Who took their grievances to the Mongol court? Under what circumstances did Mongols go to court? During which period and in which jurisdiction was the Mongol Code effective? How was judgment achieved? How much power did Mongol noblemen have in handling their own affairs? This project aims to weave together largely separate strands of Mongol history and Qing history while analyzing legal theory and practice in a comparative perspective-internally, vis-a-vis other regions of the Qing Empire and externally, with other contemporaneous empires. Subjecting Qing law for Mongolia to juridical analysis, I will examine the bases upon which pluralistic bodies of law were legitimated under the command of the Manchu sovereign. In addition, my project investigates the ways in which the formal legal order and non-legal forms of social ordering such as family, lineage, religion, and community intersected in Mongolia. Against the backdrop of momentous changes in the cultural and physical landscape, I will explicate Inner Mongolia's transition from nomadic pastoralism to sedentarism.