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Chapter 4 links analyses of social property relations to scholarship on the social origins of the diplomatic corps and the aristocratisation of ambassadors from the late-seventeenth century. It presents the debates in diplomatic theory and history regarding the social origins or functions of actors regarded as necessary or ideal to fulfil diplomatic duties. The chapter argues that the aristocratisation of ambassadors led by France and Castile can be understood as a jurisdictional strategy of collaboration between noble classes and sovereigns to sustain an 'old regime' Europe. The typology of jurisdictional accumulation can be used to contrast French and Castilian strategies of ambassadorial recruitment as transplants of authority, with English and Dutch counterpart strategies as transports. Transplants mark the former’s more embodied and organic reliance on the prestige of the person of the ambassador, whereas the latter favoured the potential utility and political requirements of their more merchant-based imperial agents in shaping the social diversity of their ambassadorial corps, and therefore can be identified through the more functional concept of transports.
Chapter 3 focuses on the social property relations of each case building on the Political Marxist tradition and by engaging with international legal history. This chapter presents the major institutions, actors, and jurisdictional disputes that provide bases to understand, first, the local specificities of the Castilian kingdom and its American colonies, emphasising the broader Iberian fragmented assemblage and the role of theologians in the particular politico-religious form of empire linked to principles of morality and law. In France, the focus is on Louis XIV and his ministers trying to contain the various jurisdictional regimes and conceptions of space, as well as legal actors and orders. The role of England’s social property relations is discussed in relation to the common law and to enclosures in primitive accumulation and the transition to capitalism. Finally, the Dutch Republic highlights the problem of transition and the specific jurisdictional context of its confederation, as well as the role of merchants and magistrates in shaping its politics. The chapter describes practices that could be considered as extensions rather than transports or transplants of authority.
Colonial practices of jurisdictional accumulation consist, in the Iberian case, of the requerimiento, encomiendas, audiencias, and the various jurisdictional opportunities they provided leading to jurisdictional competition and subjectivities in colonial New Spain. Castile’s mercantilism is also discussed in relation to its governance and administrative structures and commercial–legal institutions. Relying on the jurisdictional incorporation of both settlers and Native American subjectivities, Castilian practices of imperial expansion transplanted Castilian authority and are primarily concerned with authority over people providing jurisdictional opportunities of contestation and subjugation. Different practices of jurisdictional accumulation are identified in the French, Dutch, and English/British empires. These mostly relate to trading and chartered companies and settlements primarily concerned with authority over land and resources, where inhabitants of the colonised land need to be excluded rather than jurisdictionally incorporated. The more commercial, indirect, and outsourced practices of these empires are discussed through the debates on mercantilism and the practices of corsairing, which produced conditions for jurisdictional accumulation as transports of authority (i.e. focused on the use of intermediaries and a jurisdictional distancing between the imperial centres and their colonies).
Rethinking early modern extraterritoriality from a social, entangled, and trans-imperial perspective, to see if it could reveal more practices than that of ambassadorial immunity, led us to a wider variety of practices of jurisdictional expansion. The angle chosen emphasised social property relations as a basis to understanding key structural changes in conceptions and practices of jurisdiction, territory, and sovereignty. This approach to historical sociology is shaped by a Political Marxist methodology focusing on the structural (political and legal) specificities of early modern social property relations, and a radically historicist, processual, and non-consequentialist conception of historical development.
The introduction presents the problem of early modern extraterritoriality, followed by the context, argument, and methods used for tackling this problem. Before closing with an outline of the book’s chapters, the introductory chapter defines the project’s three main axes; law, empires, and capital. In particular, it discusses why we need to separately conceptualise law in terms of jurisdiction, why we need another book on early modern European empires, and why we need to include capital from a Marxist perspective in a historical sociology of international law.
Chapter 1 problematises the classic history of diplomacy in relation to extraterritoriality and presents the key debates in IR and international law to which this study contributes. This chapter further shows that classic diplomatic history's focus on embassies and Grotius to historicise extraterritoriality has contributed to the Westphalian imaginaries that remain dominant and maintain linear trajectories of the shift from personal to territorial concepts of sovereignty. If a range of new studies, focused on biographical and cultural aspects of diplomacy, are also contesting this approach and account of early modern jurisdiction, they nevertheless remain limited in terms of not fundamentally questioning the link between extraterritorial and territorial sovereignty based on the analysis of ambassadorial immunity and the shift from the personal – the ambassador – to the territorial – the embassy. These limitations call for new approaches to the history of extraterritoriality.
Chapter 5 concerns the practices of Dutch, French, and English consuls in the Mediterranean and illustrates jurisdictional collaboration and conflict between sovereigns, merchants, trading companies, and regional institutions. It discusses the range of consuls' jurisdictional functions, the policies and strategies developed, such as the restrictive regulations increasingly put in place for the French service and its unique model of salaried and commissioned consuls, as well as the different practices found in Christian and non-Christian parts of the Mediterranean. Through a selection of archive material regarding events in the French embassy in Constantinople from the 1660s to 1680s, the analysis reveals a more interdependent relation between ambassadors and consuls in shaping extraterritorial and jurisdictional spaces. Focusing on class differences and social origins emphasises the role of consular diplomacy, its connection to the aristocratisation of ambassadorial diplomacy, and the development of different forms of early modern mercantilism. French consular practices are better categorised as transplants of authority, in contrast to the less jurisdictionally autonomous role of English and Dutch consular attempts to transport their sovereign’s authority.
Chapter 2 discusses historical sociology as the framework adopted to develop a new approach to early modern jurisdictions. The project aims to enrich diplomatic history's institutional and cultural paradigm through a more productive engagement with new legal histories of extraterritoriality and historical materialist approaches. Debates regarding Eurocentrism and how to conceptualise imperial agency in historical sociology are discussed, and an outward methodological internalism is proposed as required by the research problem posed in Chapter 1, namely the problem of narrow and linear sources of the means of imperial expansions of authority such as ambassadorial immunities. To frame this methodology, the commodity form theory of law is discussed as a powerful but overly structural approach to processes of expansion that conflates mercantilism and capitalism. In response, the methodology is framed instead by Political Marxism, as a more agency-based and historicist approach to international history, that relies on the concept of social property relations.
Chapter 7 discusses the conceptual and historiographical implications of the analysis of consuls in Chapter 5 and of the jurisdictional practices of accumulation in Chapter 6. Exploring different meanings of jurisdiction for the doctrine of the law of nations in Castile and for England’s famous Calvin’s Case reveals the importance of the difference between transplants and transports of authority as shaped by different notions of dominium. In effect, transplants of authority refer to notions of dominium that incorporate both ownership of things and people and rule or judicial authority over things and people. In contrast, transports of authority refer to a more restricted notion of dominium focused on the ownership of things, or what some might identify as private property. Finally, in the Mediterranean, jurisdictional accumulation reveals how early modern consuls, as the most significant and neglected of jurisdictional actors, were shaping key legal fictions (political–economic and Christian–non-Christian) that were maintained in the later-nineteenth-century’s construction of modern international law, and which contributed to excluding peoples from the standards of civilisation.
The majority of European early modern empires – the Castilian, French, Dutch, and English/British – developed practices of jurisdictional accumulation, distinguished by the three categories of extensions, transports, and transplants of authority. This book is concerned with various diplomatic and colonial agents which enabled the transports and transplants of sovereign authority. Through historical analyses of ambassadors and consuls in the Mediterranean based on primary and secondary material, and on the empires' Atlantic imperial expansions and conquests, the book makes a major analytical contribution to historical sociology. As an interdisciplinary exercise in conceptual innovation based on a Political Marxist framework and its concept of social property relations, the book goes beyond common binaries in both conventional and critical histories. The new concept of jurisdictional accumulation brings ambassadors, consuls, merchants, and lawyers out of the shadows of empire and onto the main stage of the construction of modern international relations and international law.
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