The Mongol Way: Administration, Justice, and Law in Qing Mongolia

Mar 3 12:00–1:30pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Erdenchuluu Khohchahar (Assistant Professor, Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair/Discussant: Mark Elliott (Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Department of History, Harvard University)

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard University

Many Mongolian-language archival documents have revealed the existence of at least three realms of judicial practice in Qing Mongolia (1644-1912): the Qing colonial legal system, the native Mongolian way of justice, and the contradiction, or, more broadly, the relationship between the two. This talk takes insight from the Mongolian context, differing from mainstream scholarship that tends to assume the Qing colonial legal system had a widespread effectiveness in Mongolian society at that time. In other words, it explores the native Mongolian justice system during the Qing dynasty, and to some extent, its relation with the Qing colonial legal order. By looking at the justice system, which was closely interrelated to both administration and law, this talk analyzes how and why native Mongolians persistently preserved and innovatively developed their own traditional legal-administrative order under Qing colonial rule. The narrative of the “Mongol way” has implications for theories of imperialism and law.