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Bhandar, Brenna (2017) 'Registering Interests: Modern Methods of Valuing Labour, Land and Life.' In: Desautels-Stein, Justin and Tomlins, Christopher, (eds.), Searching For Contemporary Legal Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 290-311.

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Beginning with some reflections on the audit-driven nature of contemporary academe, this chapter aims to explore forms of marginalisation and exclusion that modern methods of evaluation both produce and obscure. Here, I explore concepts of value and methods of evaluation that were utilised to create property interests in land and life insurance in the mid- to late nineteenth-century in the context of the British Empire. The Torrens system of title by registration, and the creation of the first state-wide system of registration for life insurance policies by Elizur Wright both emerge in 1858. While the commodification of land and life may seem to bear no relation to one another, I argue that they share a conceptual logic. While commodity-visions of land and life appear to be disaggregated by the 19th century, the methods of valuation employed in the propertisation of land and life both rely on techniques of valuation rooted in a turn to ‘scientific’ methods, and furthermore, reflect a racialist humanism that persists in producing and valuing whiteness over the lives of people of colour.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law > Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL)
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
School Research Centres > Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law
Subjects: K Law
ISBN: 9781316584361
Copyright Statement: © Cambridge University Press 2017. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2017 11:58

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