Uneingeschränkter Zugang

Legal Files and Empires: Form and Materiality of the Benguela District Court Documents


Much has been said on the role of judges, legal officials, and courts in the making of colonial regimes. Nevertheless, historiography lacks specific methodological reflections on lawsuits in the Iberian Empires. In order to raise some methodological issues concerning lawsuits as primary sources, I argue that historians could also engage with legal files by looking at instead of just looking through them. In this sense, I seek to establish a dialogue with discussions that anthropologists and social scientists put forward concerning the role of documents as constitutive of bureaucracies and administrative institutions. In order to do so, I will focus on specific aspects of the Benguela District Court collection of legal files.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Geschichte, Themen der Geschichte, Verfassungs- u. Rechtsgeschichte, Andere Themen der Geschichte, Rechtswissenschaften, Öffentliches Recht, andere, Sozialwissenschaften, Politikwissenschaften, Kommunale Politik und Verwaltung