Norrie Macqueen Colonialism

ISBN 13: 9781405846301

Colonialism

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Europe’s rapacious hunger for other people’s lands is one of the key shaping forces of our contemporary world.  Everything is touched by our colonial past, from the way we see the world to the food we eat. Our contemporary preoccupations and ills – from globalization to humanitarian intervention to international terrorism – have colonialism somewhere in their genetic make-up.

The character and policies of contemporary international organizations – from the United Nations to the European Union - have also been deeply affected by the colonial inheritance of their members, whether as perpetrators or “victims”. 

Weaving together the complex strands of history and politics into one compact narrative, this book addresses the key theories of colonialism, examining them against contemporary realities. It goes on to looks at how the different policies of colonisers have had profoundly contradictory effects on the way different empires ended in the 20th century. These endings in turn affected the entire nature of modern day international relations. It also exposes the moral ambiguities of colonialism and the hypocrisies, which underlay colonial policies in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

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"Colonialism is that rare book of historical synthesis, which combines a solid empirical base with a well-informed framework of analysis.  MacQueen's volume will serve as a clear and jargon-free introduction to that which is a most fundamental aspect of the construction of the modern European world." Patrick Chabal

 

Are colonialism and the colonial idea really dead? 

 

Colonialism has had a profound effect on our lives. Every aspect of our day-to-day existence from our world views to our eating preferences has been touched by the colonial experience. On the world stage a range of contemporary preoccupations and ills – from globalization to humanitarian intervention to international terrorism – have colonialism somewhere in their genetic make-up.

 

In this extraordinary new guide, MacQueen addresses the key theories of colonialism and examines them against contemporary realities. In contrasting the varied European ‘philosophies’ of colonialism: French and Portuguese ‘ultra-nationalism’ on the one hand and British Imperial ‘pragmatism’ on the other, MacQueen exposes their profoundly contradictory effects on the way different empires ended in the twentieth century. These endings in turn affected the entire nature of modern day international relations. 

 

While Colonialism exposes the hypocrisies underlying colonial policies, MacQueen concludes that the continuous rehearsal of moral outrage is, in practical terms, irrelevant.  Though colonialism is rightly offensive to contemporary liberal sensibilities, it is 'ahistorical' to project these on other times.  However, the 'colonizing instinct' may still be alive in the (primarily western) discourses of governance and moral 'cosmopolitanism'. 

 

Norrie MacQueen is a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Dundee. He has lived, worked and travelled extensively throughout the colonial and post-colonial world. He is the author of many books including The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa (1997) and Peacekeeping and the International System (2006).

About the Author:

Norrie MacQueen is a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Dundee. He has lived, worked and travelled extensively throughout the colonial and post-colonial world. He is the author of many books including The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa (1997) and Peacekeeping and the International System (2006).

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9781138136342: Colonialism (Short Histories of Big Ideas)

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ISBN 10:  1138136344 ISBN 13:  9781138136342
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