On March 1, the Institute will host Lauren Benton, holder of the 'Nelson O. Tyrone Jr.' Chair of History and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University.
Lauren Benton is coauthor with Lisa Ford of Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800 - 1850 (Harvard University Press, 2016), and she will be discussing the book’s contributions to global legal history. Rage for Order investigates a vast project of imperial legal reform in the British Empire and its relation to emerging visions of global legal order. Scandals of petty despotism across the empire in this period shaped constitutional politics and strengthened imperial jurisdiction throughout the empire. Campaigns to police piracy and end slave trading activated strategies to place imperial authority at the center of global legal regimes. The result was a sprawling attempt to create an imperial constitution for the world, a decentralized and messy enterprise that put an imperial stamp on subsequent ways of framing the international legal order.
Lauren Benton is a scholar of the comparative history of empires, the history of international law, and world history between 1400 and 1900. She is coauthor with Lisa Ford of Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1400-1900 (Harvard University Press, 2016). Other publications include A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2010); Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History, 1400-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and two coedited volumes on empire and law.
Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2015, Benton was Julius Silver Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Law at NYU. Benton is the recipient of the 2019 Toynbee Prize for significant contributions to global history.