Abstract: In her presentation ‘Sovereignty in China’ she will discuss her forthcoming coming book (Sovereignty in China. A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840) and her article China’s Malleable Sovereignty along the Belt and Road Initiative: The Case of the 99-Year Chinese Lease of Hambantota Port (N.Y.U. Journal of International Law & Politics 51, 2019). She will give a historical overview of the way Chinese intellectuals, political figures, and diplomats appropriated and articulated the notion of sovereignty in their foreign policy within the new discourse of international law in the period between 1840 to the present with a particular focus on the present and controversial Chinese lease of Hambantota port. By tracing a genealogy of the notion of sovereignty in China from the earliest introduction of international law until the today, the presentation provides a historical perspective through which to better understand the path China is taking as a normative actor within the international global order.
Bio: Maria Adele Carrai is a Marie Curie Fellow at KU Leuven and a Fellow at Harvard Asia Center. Her research focuses on China’s legal history and how it affects the country’s foreign policy. After having completed her Ph.D. in Law at the University of Hong Kong in 2016, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program (2017-18), Max Weber Fellow in Law at the European University Institute of Florence (2015-17) and Global Hauser Fellow at the New York University Law School (2016-17). Her book Sovereignty in China. A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840 is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. She has published various articles and book chapters on Chinese legal history and current Chinese approaches to international law and order. Her current research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the impact on Chinese investments on global and local governance and legal regimes with a focus on East Africa, where she will conduct fieldwork thanks to the Orrick Fellows Program for the Study of the China/Africa Relationship
of the Harvard Law School East Asian Legal Studies. She is co-editor of the volume entitled The Belt and Road and Global Governance forthcoming with Edward Elgar Publisher.