LEGAL REALITIES OF MONGOLIA IN 18th - FIRST HALF OF 19th c. AS SEEN BY RUSSIAN TRAVELERS (ATTEMPT OF ANALYSIS FORM LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY POINT OF VIEW)

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Abstract


The article is devoted to analysis of notes of Russian travelers to Mongolia as a source on legal situation in this country during 18th - first half of 19th c. Until now these texts were used mainly as a source on political or economic history as well as on ethnology of Mongols but far less as one on legal history of this people. Indeed, the information on legal realties of Mongolia is rather fragmentary and lapidary as the travelers didn’t have a goal to describe state and law of Mongolia. Nevertheless, this information is of great interest and value as it allows us to give a notion on real legal situation, legal relations realized in practice - in contrast to survived written legal monuments (codes) of Mongols from this period: travelers could observe such legal practice and even participate in the legal relations among Mongols. The source base of research are notes of travelers who visited Mongolia since the beginning of the 18th c. to 1850s. There were diplomats (ambassadors and their companions), couriers, intelligence officers, tradesmen and scientists. Depending on goals and objectives of their trips they interested in different aspects of Mongolian legal realties, so the comparative analysis of their information allows to present different aspects of legal life of Mongols The study of travelers’ notes from the legal anthropology point of view (basing on works of N. Rouland, A.I. Kovler, V.V. Bocharov) presumes analysis positions of their authors, reasons of their interest to specific field of law as well as Mongols’ attitude to law and order, legal rules, will of Mongol and Manchu authorities, etc. Analysis of Russian travelers’ notes in combination with legal monuments allow to understand better specific features in legal development of Mongolia in the turning-point period of its history: just at this time there was activated the policy of the Qing Empire to transform Mongols from autonomous vassals to complete subjects with disfranchisement, performance of duties and obligations and further closing in status with other categories of subjects (as Chinese, etc.). Also these notes are examples of basic stage of Russian practical-oriented legal anthropology which differed from the western one by attempting to study and understand the law of “traditional” societies without disregard of the Europocentrism.


About the authors

Roman Yu. Pochekaev

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Author for correspondence.
Email: rpochekaev@hse.ru
17, Industrial str., 198099, St. Petersburg, Russia

Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate professor, Professor, Head of the Department of Theory and History of Law and State, Law Faculty

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