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Alastair McClure

Assistant Professor


Dr Alastair McClure is a historian of modern South Asia and the British Empire. His research focuses largely on the relationship between violence, law and sovereignty in the context of nineteenth and twentieth century India and the Indian Ocean world. His current publications tackle components of this wider question through the history of royal amnesty and corporal punishment. Before joining the University of Hong Kong, Dr McClure completed fellowships at McGill University and the University of Chicago. His research has been supported by grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Selected Publications


  • 'Archaic Sovereignty and Colonial Law: The Reintroduction of Corporal Punishment in Colonial India, 1864-1909', Modern Asian Studies. (2020).

  • 'Sovereignty, Law and the Politics of Forgiveness in Colonial India', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 38:3 (Dec, 2018): pp. 385-401.

  • 'Law and Legality in India: New Directions in Indian Legal History: Introduction', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 38:2 (Dec, 2018): 367-374. Co-written with Saumya Saxena.

  • 'Making and Unmaking the Nation in World History: Introduction', History Compass, 15:1 (2017): pp. 1-9. Co-written with Joseph McQuade and Sophie-Jung Kim.


  • 'State Building and Problematic Geopolitical Spaces in South Asia: The Himalayas and the Extradition Treaty of 1855'. In Transnational Frontiers of Asia and South America since 1800, edited by Jaime Moreno Tejado and Bradley Tatar, pp. 98-110. (New York: Routledge, 2017).

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