Empire, Development and Colonialism

Empire, Development and Colonialism

The Past in the Present

Vernon Hewitt

Edited by Mark Duffield

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This book makes a unique contribution to the renewed debate about empire and imperialism and will be of great interest to all those concerned with understanding the historical antecedents and wider implications of today's emergent liberal interventionism, and the various logics of international development.
This collection explores the similarities, differences and overlaps between the contemporary debates on international development and humanitarian intervention and the historical artefacts and strategies of Empire. It includes views by historians and students of politics and development, drawing on a range of methodologies and approaches.
The parallels between the language of nineteenth-century liberal imperialism and the humanitarian interventionism of the post-Cold War era are striking. The American military, both in Somalia in the early 1990s and in the aftermath the Iraq invasion, used ethnographic information compiled by British colonial administrators. Are these interconnections, which are capable of endless multiplication, accidental curiosities or more elemental? The contributors to this book articulate the belief that these comparisons are not just anecdotal but are analytically revealing. From the language of moral necessity and conviction, the design of specific aid packages; the devised forms of intervention and governmentality, through to the life-style, design and location of NGO encampments, the authors seek to account for the numerous and often striking parallels between contemporary international security, development and humanitarian intervention, and the logic of Empire.

MARK DUFFIELD is Professor of Development Politics at the University of Bristol; VERNON HEWITT is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Bristol

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Mark Duffield and Vernon Hewitt
The Exceptional Inclusion of 'Savages' & 'Barbarians': The Colonial Liberal Bio-politics of Mobility & Development - Matt Merefield
Empire, International Development & the Concept of Good Government - Vernon Hewitt
Empire: A Question of Hearts? The Social Turn in Colonial Government. Bombay c.1905-25 - Henrik Aspengren
'Conflict Sensitive' Aid & Making Liberal Peace - Suthaharan Nadarajah
Development, Poverty & Famines: The Case of the British Empire - Richard Sheldon
Plain Tales from the Reconstruction Site: Spatial Continuities in Contemporary Humanitarian Practice - Lisa Smirl
The International Politics of Social Transformation: Trusteeship & Intervention in Historical Perspective - Tom Young and David Williams
Liberal Interventionism & the Fragile State: Linked by Design? - Mark Duffield
Freedom, Fear & NGOs: Balancing Discourses of Violence & Humanity in Securitising Times - Patricia Noxolo
Theorising Continuities between Empire & Development: Toward a New Theory of History - April R. Biccum
Spatial Practices & Imaginaries: Experiences of Colonial Officers & Development Professionals - Uma Kothari
Decolonising the Borders in Sudan: Ethnic Territories & National Development - Douglas H. Johnson
'Individualism is, Indeed, Running Riot': Components of the Social Democratic Model of Development - Paul Kelemen


There is enough quality in this volume to recommend this book to scholars and students interested in development theory and colonization and how both processes might be theorized as mutually constitutive. I have little doubt that the editors and contributors have set down a compelling research agenda that will be carried forward in future publications. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW

A thought-provoking collection. [...] This is a valuable set of essays addressing contemporary issues with an eye on the past and revealing some insights into the antecedents of contemporary development rhetoric and techniques. POLITICAL STUDIES REVIEW

This volume adds to a recent debate that revisits the concepts and notions of development rooted in the 'civilising mission' during the colonial era. Hence it explores a hitherto largely ignored, or at least neglected link concerning the continuity of the 'colonial mind' in international relations of today. NEW ROUTES

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