Jour Fixe: Multinormativity in Western Arguments Regarding Punishment of the Boxers and their Patrons, 1900-1901

Jour Fixe

  • Date: Feb 13, 2017
  • Time: 12:00 - 13:00
  • Speaker: Timothy L. Schroer
  • University of West Georgia
  • Opponent: Donal Coffey
  • Location: MPIeR
  • Room: Z 01
 Jour Fixe: Multinormativity in Western Arguments Regarding Punishment of the Boxers and their Patrons, 1900-1901

Violence against foreigners committed by the Boxers and their patrons in the Chinese state during the summer of 1900 touched off a vigorous debate in the West about what actions should be taken in response. As foreign troops assembled on the coast of China and then proceeded to sack Beijing, and for months thereafter, government officials, diplomats, lawyers, journalists, missionaries, and others from all the interested foreign countries staked out various positions regarding how the Chinese should be punished. The Boxer Protocol of September 1901 that settled the conflict represented the outcome of that lengthy and complex debate among multiple parties. My presentation will explore the multiple Western arguments advanced in 1900 and 1901 concerning punishment of the Chinese. To what extent did international law shape that debate? What competing normative claims were offered? How did those norms relate to each other? To what extent were arguments advanced that were wholly a-normative? I hope to use the lens of multinormativity to shed light on the brutal Western campaign and the settlement of the Boxer Conflict, and, in turn, to bring insights from this historical episode to bear upon the theory of multinormativity.

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