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Journal Article

Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History

01 May 2006-International Journal of African Historical Studies (Boston University)-Vol. 39, Iss: 2, pp 347
About: This article is published in International Journal of African Historical Studies.The article was published on 2006-05-01 and is currently open access. It has received 408 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Colonialism.
Citations
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Book
16 May 2010
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the role of empire in the development and evolution of the United States and its relationship with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as other countries in a world of empires.
Abstract: List of Illustrations vii Preface xi Chapter 1: Imperial Trajectories 1 Chapter 2: Imperial Rule in Rome and China 23 Chapter 3: After Rome: Empire, Christianity, and Islam 61 Chapter 4: Eurasian Connections: The Mongol Empires 93 Chapter 5: Beyond the Mediterranean: Ottoman and Spanish Empires 117 Chapter 6: Oceanic Economies and Colonial Societies: Europe, Asia, and the Americas 149 Chapter 7: Beyond the Steppe: Empire-Building in Russia and China 185 Chapter 8: Empire, Nation, and Citizenship in a Revolutionary Age 219 Chapter 9: Empires across Continents: The United States and Russia 251 Chapter 10: Imperial Repertoires and Myths of Modern Colonialism 287 Chapter 11: Sovereignty and Empire: Nineteenth-Century Europe and Its Near Abroad 331 Chapter 12: War and Revolution in a World of Empires: 1914 to 1945 369 Chapter 13: End of Empire? 413 Chapter 14: Empires, States, and Political Imagination 443 Suggested Reading and Citations 461 Index 481

433 citations


Cites background from "Colonialism in Question: Theory, Kn..."

  • ...One criticism that should be noted is the hasty definition of empire in the first chapter (a definition Cooper uses elsewhere (3)) which does not suit the complexity of the empirical examples and nuanced themes that emerge throughout the book....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that despite the critiques of the past two decades, the temporality of modernity and a belief in its exceptionalism still structure much of anthropological thought, as exemplified in the division of archaeology and ethnography and in the subfield of historical archaeology.
Abstract: This essay identifies the potential of an emerging archaeological turn for anthropology—and for archaeology itself. I argue that despite the critiques of the past two decades, the temporality of modernity and a belief in its exceptionalism still structure much of anthropological thought, as exemplified in the division of archaeology and ethnography and in the subfield of historical archaeology and its dystopic treatment of modern urban ruins. But alternative temporalities and analytical possibilities are also emerging, ones attentive to the folding and recycling of cultural elements that Walter Benjamin described with such philosophical depth. On the ground, Benjamin’s insights can be put to use by paying greater attention to the spatiotemporal dynamics of capitalism’s creative destruction, to the social life of ruins, and to projects that challenge the linear divide between modernity and antiquity. Releasing anthropology from progressive time necessarily entails a reintegration of the subfields and a dir...

218 citations


Cites background from "Colonialism in Question: Theory, Kn..."

  • ...…colonialism, the onset of Atlantic slavery, individualism and the divided subject, technological involution, urbanization, global integration, science and rationality, mass literacy, aesthetic modernism, the nation-state, and so on (see Cooper 2005 for a critique of this overused homonym)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider the case of the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, which has grown into a large, transnational NGO sponsoring a variety of medical projects worldwide.
Abstract: This article addresses legacies of national origin within global forms. Focusing on tensions related to human resources, I consider the case of the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders). Since 1971, MSF has grown into a large, transnational NGO sponsoring a variety of medical projects worldwide. Amid recent efforts to “decolonize” its human profile, MSF has debated the appropriate role, motivation and remuneration of both international volunteers and local support staff it hires at mission sites. Given the different degrees of ease with which situated persons can travel, the organization's conflicting impulses place it in a classic double bind: to remain mobile it must limit local attachments, while to achieve equality it must embrace them. The figure of the ex-patriate thus suggests a mundane but precise measure for the threshold of inequality.

124 citations

Dissertation
01 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors address the question of how states, meaning organized political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states by reinterpreting aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms.
Abstract: This thesis addresses the question of how states, meaning organised political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states. As sovereignty refers to the presence of a state’s authority, its existence is premised on states and other internal and external actors recognising claims to sovereignty. Therefore, states, such as the Ottoman Empire, which historically had a different understanding of legitimacy, faced challenges to their sovereignty following the emergence of new global understandings of sovereignty in the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire was distinct in that it was the only Islamic state that was not subject to and was able to avoid completely falling under the influence of then-dominant European states. However, the Ottoman Empire still experienced European intervention and there was a desire to end forms of European extraterritorial jurisdiction. Ottoman elites, who were affiliated with the reformist Young Turks, sought to secure recognition of their state’s sovereignty by reconstituting it along novel international standards of legitimate statehood. These standards were based on the concepts of “civilised”, “militarist”, “popular” and “national” statehood, and were reinterpreted by the Young Turks in the course of their efforts to secure the recognition of European powers. These efforts included diplomacy with European powers, institutional reform and conceptual innovation. However, it also involved engaging in practices associated with sovereignty such as the control of territory. In all of these areas, the Young Turks reinterpreted aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms, to secure their claim to sovereignty. Therefore, the Ottoman state elites sought to convey an impression of governing a state that could be recognised as sovereign by other European powers. Ultimately, the remnants of the Young Turks, secured international recognition of their state, reconstituted as the nation-state of Turkey in 1923.

111 citations


Cites background from "Colonialism in Question: Theory, Kn..."

  • ...…contested nature of sovereignty and statehood as they do not take into consideration the different interpretations of what it means to be modern which are often tied to subjective political processes instead of denoting objective social processes (Cooper, 2005: 113 - 152; Guillaume, 2009: 78 - 79)....

    [...]

  • ...However, the attempt to place this moment in a unidirectional process of progress or development can be criticised for confusing a process contingent on the beliefs and actions of individuals with an objective process of history (Cooper, 2005: ch. 5)....

    [...]

  • ...The meanings of concepts that play a role in such accounts, such as modernity, have themselves been historically contested by individuals holding different values (Cooper, 2005: 113 - 152)....

    [...]

Dissertation
01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: The authors argue that the problem goes deeper than white supremacy and patriarchy and cannot be resolved with quota systems to ensure inclusion on the basis of race or gender, instead, the problem is twofold: (1) dominant conceptions of "freedom, as the opposite of "slavery,” "tyranny, or "constraint" are seen here as bound to a mentality and language of domination, and (2) "freedom," as a central value in social orders, perpetuates white supremacy, and patriarchy.
Abstract: Zen Buddhists have long given the following advice to attain liberation: “Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re tired.” In other words: “Freedom” is the “knowledge of necessity” (Hegel, Marx, and Engels). Early Islamic communities dealt with the challenge of internal warfare and tyranny and concluded that, “sixty years of tyranny is better than one day’s anarchy.” In other words, the worst-case scenario is a war “of every man against every man,” (Thomas Hobbes) and all theories of statecraft are built upon that premise. Ever since the dawn of colonialism, indigenous peoples have been struggling for self-determination. Many, such as Comanche thinker Parra-Wa-Samen, lived and died for the right to move across a land without state or borders. In other words, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” (Patrick Henry). How is it then that an English textbook could possibly focus on “freedom” as a universal value and simultaneously exclude all non-European traditions and perspectives? Why should conversations about “freedom” begin with Hegel, Hobbes, and Henry rather than the earlier examples of Zen, Islam, and indigenous peoples? If “freedom” concerns everybody then do not the conversations in academia about “freedom” by scholars (as well as rising economists, planners, and politicians) affect everybody? If democratic inclusivity entails the demand that all people affected by decisions are to be included in those very decision-making processes then contemporary academia has a problem when talking about “freedom.” In selling the term “freedom” as a universally applicable but uniquely European (and sacrosanct) idea most of the planet has been excluded from these conversations. This means that control over the idea and how it is interpreted has been determined by a very narrow range of persons, from the mid-1600s to mid-1900s: almost exclusively white, male, heterosexual, property-owning, able-bodied, and, not uncommonly, racist. This thesis argues that the problem goes deeper than white supremacy and patriarchy and cannot be resolved with quota systems to ensure inclusion on the basis of race or gender. Instead, the problem is two-fold: (1) dominant conceptions of “freedom,” as the opposite of “slavery,” “tyranny,” or “constraint,” are seen here as bound to a mentality and language of domination, and (2) “freedom,” as a central value in social orders, perpetuates white supremacy and patriarchy. Focus on “freedom” contra “unfreedom” obscures, disguises, or denies those “unfreedoms” upon which “freedom” is necessarily bound. Once those “unfreedoms” are exposed or recognized (whether violence, obligation, responsibility, dependency and interdependency, equality and inequality, needs, justice, limitations, etc.) the conversations about “freedom” can be spoken in a language that all cultures can understand in order to participate as equal parties. Toward these ends, this dissertation engages in stories from three contemporary empirical contexts in the U.S.: the Unitarian Universalist Association, the MOVE Organization, and taqwacore. Through a blend of text analysis, ethnography, storytelling, and personal experience, the purpose of this thesis is to imagine what more inclusive conversations might look like. Using the term (un)freedom to transcend the false binary of “freedom” and “unfreedom,” three potential types of (un)freedom are conceived to further the aim of democratic inclusivity: Negotiating the Limits of Language, Shouldering Incalculable Responsibility in Community, and Feeling an Obligation to Challenge Injustice.

103 citations

References
More filters
Book
16 May 2010
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the role of empire in the development and evolution of the United States and its relationship with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as other countries in a world of empires.
Abstract: List of Illustrations vii Preface xi Chapter 1: Imperial Trajectories 1 Chapter 2: Imperial Rule in Rome and China 23 Chapter 3: After Rome: Empire, Christianity, and Islam 61 Chapter 4: Eurasian Connections: The Mongol Empires 93 Chapter 5: Beyond the Mediterranean: Ottoman and Spanish Empires 117 Chapter 6: Oceanic Economies and Colonial Societies: Europe, Asia, and the Americas 149 Chapter 7: Beyond the Steppe: Empire-Building in Russia and China 185 Chapter 8: Empire, Nation, and Citizenship in a Revolutionary Age 219 Chapter 9: Empires across Continents: The United States and Russia 251 Chapter 10: Imperial Repertoires and Myths of Modern Colonialism 287 Chapter 11: Sovereignty and Empire: Nineteenth-Century Europe and Its Near Abroad 331 Chapter 12: War and Revolution in a World of Empires: 1914 to 1945 369 Chapter 13: End of Empire? 413 Chapter 14: Empires, States, and Political Imagination 443 Suggested Reading and Citations 461 Index 481

433 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that despite the critiques of the past two decades, the temporality of modernity and a belief in its exceptionalism still structure much of anthropological thought, as exemplified in the division of archaeology and ethnography and in the subfield of historical archaeology.
Abstract: This essay identifies the potential of an emerging archaeological turn for anthropology—and for archaeology itself. I argue that despite the critiques of the past two decades, the temporality of modernity and a belief in its exceptionalism still structure much of anthropological thought, as exemplified in the division of archaeology and ethnography and in the subfield of historical archaeology and its dystopic treatment of modern urban ruins. But alternative temporalities and analytical possibilities are also emerging, ones attentive to the folding and recycling of cultural elements that Walter Benjamin described with such philosophical depth. On the ground, Benjamin’s insights can be put to use by paying greater attention to the spatiotemporal dynamics of capitalism’s creative destruction, to the social life of ruins, and to projects that challenge the linear divide between modernity and antiquity. Releasing anthropology from progressive time necessarily entails a reintegration of the subfields and a dir...

218 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider the case of the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, which has grown into a large, transnational NGO sponsoring a variety of medical projects worldwide.
Abstract: This article addresses legacies of national origin within global forms. Focusing on tensions related to human resources, I consider the case of the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders). Since 1971, MSF has grown into a large, transnational NGO sponsoring a variety of medical projects worldwide. Amid recent efforts to “decolonize” its human profile, MSF has debated the appropriate role, motivation and remuneration of both international volunteers and local support staff it hires at mission sites. Given the different degrees of ease with which situated persons can travel, the organization's conflicting impulses place it in a classic double bind: to remain mobile it must limit local attachments, while to achieve equality it must embrace them. The figure of the ex-patriate thus suggests a mundane but precise measure for the threshold of inequality.

124 citations

Dissertation
01 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors address the question of how states, meaning organized political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states by reinterpreting aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms.
Abstract: This thesis addresses the question of how states, meaning organised political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states. As sovereignty refers to the presence of a state’s authority, its existence is premised on states and other internal and external actors recognising claims to sovereignty. Therefore, states, such as the Ottoman Empire, which historically had a different understanding of legitimacy, faced challenges to their sovereignty following the emergence of new global understandings of sovereignty in the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire was distinct in that it was the only Islamic state that was not subject to and was able to avoid completely falling under the influence of then-dominant European states. However, the Ottoman Empire still experienced European intervention and there was a desire to end forms of European extraterritorial jurisdiction. Ottoman elites, who were affiliated with the reformist Young Turks, sought to secure recognition of their state’s sovereignty by reconstituting it along novel international standards of legitimate statehood. These standards were based on the concepts of “civilised”, “militarist”, “popular” and “national” statehood, and were reinterpreted by the Young Turks in the course of their efforts to secure the recognition of European powers. These efforts included diplomacy with European powers, institutional reform and conceptual innovation. However, it also involved engaging in practices associated with sovereignty such as the control of territory. In all of these areas, the Young Turks reinterpreted aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms, to secure their claim to sovereignty. Therefore, the Ottoman state elites sought to convey an impression of governing a state that could be recognised as sovereign by other European powers. Ultimately, the remnants of the Young Turks, secured international recognition of their state, reconstituted as the nation-state of Turkey in 1923.

111 citations