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The Australian National University

Mark Jones

PhD candidate

Thesis topic

A Rule of Law for Kumaon. A Rule of Law for Zomia.


Meera Ashar (chair), Brij V. Lal

My research

In 1815 the British East India Company captured the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalaya. Rather, than implement the legal and administrative model that they had developed for the plains, the British implemented a 'non-regulation' administration where the affairs of the region were almost entirely in the hands of local Commissioners. These generally long serving men would prove to be some of the British Empire's most capable administrators and at the end of the 19th century the Kumoanis were generally regarded at the best off peasantry in all of India. The commissioners have left behind one of the British Empires most complete archival records. This unexplored archive will be used to consider the transition from a social order largely based in custom to one based on the rule of law.

About the student

Mark Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University, and a Master of Asia-Pacific Studies and a Master of Philosophy from ANU. He is a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award and a Senior Residential Scholarship from ANU's Graduate House. His research interests include education in India, colonial law and exploration and mapping of colonial spaces.

Conference presentations

  • Jones, Mark, 2012. 'From Zomia to Cosmopolitanism: The growth of private English-medium schools in Kumaon', ASAA Conference, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, 11-13 July 2012.

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