Claiming possession: Asia, Europe and Empire

This project aims to reassess the nature of claims to possession across the early modern world. Claiming created the borders we take for granted and its legal artefacts are everywhere evident. Claiming was never only a European enterprise, and Asia was and remains an active site for claiming. The project will examine how Europeans claimed possession over people, lands and resources in the shadow of powerful Asian states and charts the emergence of local counterclaims and processes of legal resistance. The research will also analyse Asian polities’ historical claiming practices across borderland areas. This project could show how practices developed in the early modern period influence current sovereignty disputes in the South and East China Seas.

Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Adam Clulow
History, School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies