Abstract

Semiotic and institutional developments relating to the governance of the English oceanic empire during the second half of the seventeenth century significantly increased state agents’ power to control isolated, violent maritime encounters. The paper describes these developments in relation to piracy, privateering, and the control of seamen and argues that they have a common mechanism of social control: the manipulation of temporality. By creating capacities for the institutionalized reinterpretation of isolated acts of maritime violence, these developments reshaped the temporal horizons of such encounters by making future accountability to state agents, state categories of meaning, and state processes of adjudication more likely.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 37-66
Launched on MUSE
2014-10-09
Open Access
No
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