This seminar explores a central concern in the history of international law, namely the management of racial and religious difference, both often coded in terms of "civilization." International law has generally oscillated between two approaches: attempting to manage such differences as tolerable variations on universal themes on the one hand and using such differences to exclude categories of people wholesale from the ambit of law and its protections on the other. We will explore both dynamics by reading some classic debates as well as recent scholarship at the intersection of law and transnational history. In so doing, we will see how dilemmas over the management of difference have played an important role in shaping international law; how groups deemed marginal, backwards, or even inhuman have sought to engage and define international law and the world system; and how such hierarchies and exclusions were transformed after decolonization ushered in a world order based on formally equal sovereign nation-states. This seminar will equip students with conceptual tools for analyzing and connecting seemingly disparate contemporary problems in international, transnational, and comparative law, as well as to train them in independent research methods.