SOAS University of London

School of Law

Mr Moritz Koenig

LLB (Maastricht) LLM (SOAS)
  • Overview
  • Research


Moritz Koenig
Mr Moritz Koenig
Email address:
Thesis title:
Colonial Law in Sumatra and the Making of Minangkabau Tropes and Ontologies, 1915-1942 - An Ethnography in and of the Archival Form
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

Moritz’ research deals with problems around coloniality in Indonesian legal history. He argues that the everyday and the abstract of colonial legality can be brought into conversation by closely examining lower court jurisprudence from the Dutch East Indies and its negotiation of canonized legality and local world-making. By performing an ‘ontological turn’ (Holbraad and Pedersen 2017), Moritz moves away from traditional sociological approaches to legality and instead attends to the question ‘what is colonial law in the first place?’ By doing so, he aims to present a reconceptualization and theorization of the  manifestations and assemblages of colonial law. Moritz analyses this multitude of manifestations of colonial law through a variety of anthropological techniques to extract a critique of the archival form on which colonial law relies and sketch an anthropological silhouette of the actors, elite and non-elite, that participated in the construction and reproduction of colonial legality.


  • Law and society
  • (Post)coloniality
  • Modernity
  • Debris
  • Friction
  • Ontology
  • Poststructuralism
  • Archival grains
  • Subjectivity formation
  • World-making