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This chapter develops a history of internal self-determination. It shows that internal self-determination, as an idea, has a long history; and that the internal dimension of self-determination has always been an essential part of the broader concept of self-determination. The chapter also argues that the construction of the internal–external dichotomy took place in the 1940s due to the intervention of the Netherlands, in the context of Indonesia's decolonization. The principle started to become popular during the Cold War. The Cold War's end resulted in a renewed interest in self-determination, with international lawyers starting to write about it. This history is critically narrated in this chapter.
This chapter discusses Western and Third World approaches to internal self-determination. Traditionally, international lawyers argued that it is the West that supports internal self-determination, while the Third World supports external self-determination. This chapter argues that that claim is not valid anymore. There are many similarities in how states and institutions of the West and the Third World appreciate and understand internal self-determination. The chapter develops, however, a Third World critique of internal self-determination that questions the content of the principle as well as the purposes for which internal self-determination is promoted by the West. Concerns arising from this critique apply not only to Third World states but also to small and weak states, both in the West and the Third World generally.
Chapter 5 considers issues related to colonialism, language, and law. Colonial policies have had a sustained impact in the language arena. Language policies also play a critical role in law. Language choices initially made during colonialism continue to shape questions of access, justice, and fairness in legal and other contexts in African countries.
Chapter 2 examines questions of governance in colonial contexts. It considers how conceptions about governance of corporations bear similarities to approaches to colonial governance by colonial powers. The thin European staffing that is typical during colonialism, emphasis on reducing costs and covering colonial costs with local taxes, and focus on extraction draw attention to ways in which colonial corporate governance reflected decision-making and investment choices more appropriate for short-term corporate decision-making than long term decisions about entire societies that might impact millions of people. The internal construction of colonial governance and the often- problematic bifurcation between English law and customary law in British colonial contexts is also explored.
One of the founding events within narratives of Afro-Asian, South-South, and Third-World solidarity has been the 1955 Asian-African Conference held in the Indonesian city of Bandung. And one of the foundational accounts of the Asian-African Conference has been Richard Wright’s 1956 book The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference, which Wright wrote based on a three-week sojourn in Indonesia. Drawing on alternative accounts and perspectives regarding the Bandung Conference and Wright’s concomitant interactions with Indonesian interlocutors, this essay examines Wright’s perspectives on colonialism and decolonization as well as his stance on questions of racial and colonial shame and the powers of postcolonial leaders such as Indonesia’s President Sukarno and the Gold Coast’s Kwame Nkrumah. These contexts—taken together with a historically relevant short story written by one of Wright’s main Indonesian interlocutors—illuminate the subject of Wright’s, and Bandung’s, relation to Third-World liberation in colonialism’s enduring wake.
Part I outlines the international law applicable to economic activity both for the war and in the war zone. It begins by briefly outlining the difference between premodern and modern international law norms governing the acquisition of labour and property in war. The two sets of norms were radically different. As systems of warfare in Europe changed from premodern plunder-based warfare to modern industrial-based warfare, international law overturned and replaced norms regulating plunder and the taking of slaves, with norms that sought to protect labour and property from appropriation and exploitation in war.
During Wallace Stevens’s lifetime, imperialism was already a global institution, but parsing Stevens’s relationship to imperialism was never an entirely transparent procedure. Siraganian’s chapter explores imperialism and colonialism through brief readings of some key poems, revealing how Stevens’s poetry investigates its relation to the competing imperial and colonial projects of his age. Throughout his poetic career, he closely followed geopolitical events, including Mussolini’s colonial invasion of Ethiopia, the invention of modern warfare, and the rise of totalitarian regimes. Various poems reflect this awareness. While Stevens’s views on the imperialist fantasies of his age were at times sympathetic, poems like “Anecdote of the Jar,” “Owl’s Clover,” “Life on a Battleship,” and “A Weak Mind in the Mountains” also provide alternative, more complicated accounts that question and sometimes oppose colonizing modes of cultural domination. Above all, imperialism, especially in its cultural variety, intrigued and worried Stevens as a particular variation on the question of knowledge that continually fascinated him. Contextualization of his poetry enables us to sort out Stevens’s competing allegiances at a chaotic historical moment: to anti-imperialism, to an embattled Western culture and ideology, to a unifying world of art and poetry.
The British surprisingly faced no military resistance when they captured Asante in 1896. Previous works have focused on the agency of actors like Prempe and Frederick Hodgson to explain why. This paper, in contrast, approaches this epoch in Asante history from the context of the sociopolitical power structure within which the precolonial Asante state operated. It asserts that Asante's independence was contingent on having a strong military. But since it had no standing army, the state used Asante's ‘social contract’ to coerce its subjects into ad hoc armies to meet military threats. Starting from the 1874 Sagrenti War, however, the state disregarded the social contract. This unleashed a series of events that undermined the state's power to coerce Asantes into military service. The article posits further that this erosion of the state's coercive power ultimately prevented it from countering the British with armed resistance in 1896 to maintain independence.
Following the establishment of the modern circus in London and Paris during the later decades of the eighteenth century, the circus began its steady dispersion around the world. The global transmission of this new sort of public entertainment by peripatetic performers and entrepreneurs was in no small measure attributable to waves of colonialism, industrial advances in transportation and communication, and motivations arising from commercial interests. This chapter charts the transference of the circus to Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), the territories of Southeast Asia (including present-day Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines), and the South Asian territories of the Indian subcontinent and China in the nineteenth century. What is little understood about the processes of circus transculturation in these regions is that circus companies originating from colonial territories undertook transnational touring projects, thus enacting aesthetic and transcultural movements between territories on the periphery of empire. This chapter brings to light the ways that circuses were agents of colonialism and empire, as well as transcultural transmitters of aesthetic innovation in the period that was both the Age of Empire and the Age of Modernity.
“In Search of Modernity” delves into the history, issues, and future modalities of Nigeria surviving or emerging within a global discourse of modernity. It presents the ‘modern’ invention of Nigeria as a nation-state as a formation of Eurocentric modernity and the aftermath of industrialization. This argument is supported by pervasive levels of underdevelopment that ravage many African nations, affecting some of the fundamental features associated with modernity, but the European brand of modernity is obsolete. Nigeria, and much of the globalized world along with it, has evolved. Hence, there is a clamoring to either decolonize the present shape of modernity or evolve a more suitable one, as Eurocentric modernity has proven time without number not only to disregard the essentialities (religion, culture, etc.) that may help to define the peculiarities of Nigeria as a sovereign state, but has also perpetually pulled the nation down into further underdevelopment. Therefore, modernization is projected as a process, and modernity as an ongoing state. A nation can continually be in search of modernity while remaining modern, redefining its modern status, and localizing global features. By globalizing its contributions, modernity can self-inflect, be reflexive, and thrive in continuity.
“Colonial Modernity” examines the history and impact of colonialism on the present configuration of Nigeria, especially how it has invoked the deficiencies (ignorance, poverty, and diseases) of modern African states, or rather how those deficiencies have been focalized as the modern understanding of Africa. Nigeria as a forced invention of colonial modernity lacks the necessary factors of homogeneity, with which to achieve a truly adequate state of nationhood in transitioning from colonialism to independence. Rather, the perceived and existing differences among the numerous ethnic groups are exploited by colonialists to achieve an effortless divide and rule system of colonial administration, dominant among which is the challenge of Nigerian unity and the nation-building project complicated by fundamental ideological and political differences between the North and the South. Thereafter, colonial policies ensured that the Nigerian state was birthed on an imbalanced slope, and every member demanded relevance despite those imbalances. One such imbalance was due to the spread of Western education, which was intended to prepare people for modern governance and responsibilities. Its influence began creating problems even before independence. However, this discourse suggests Nigeria can only manifest into a functional and adequate nation-state when people are conscious of the fault-lines along the path of its invention.
This chapter describes broad regional and temporal trends in the evolution of international trade and international factor flows between 1700 and 1870, including key differences in trade costs across space and time. We find trade links in western Europe and the European colonies of North America intensified at the same time these regions experienced the initial Industrial Revolution and the spread of industrialization, which led to sustained economic growth. At the same time, global differences in specialization and income emerged. To understand the contribution of global market forces as well as colonialism to these differences, the chapter lays out theoretical reasons for links between trade and economic growth and examines related historical arguments and evidence. We conclude that trade contributed to global divergence, but the magnitude and mechanisms through which trade affected global welfare lies not so much in the direct impact of trade and specialization as in multiplier effects emerging from the interactions of trade with other factors that affect economic development.
“Governance, Citizenship, and the State” examines the efficacy and effectiveness of governance in relation to the discourses of inclusivity, marginalization, discrimination, poverty, development, growth, war, tranquility, politics, inflation, deflation, debt, death rates, birth rates, environmental conditions, security, human development capacity, fundamental human rights, etc. These notions are viable means of assessing the pros and cons in any society’s system of governance, as well as the extent to which ideas of governance have been collectively domesticated by the state and its people. Human society has evolved through several mechanisms of governance, from monarchy to other forms. Despite society’s evolution from predominately religious governments to embrace secular bureaucracies, the rules governing behavior remain largely drawn from religious tenets. At the core of any inquiry into governance is the question of morality vis-à-vis the promotion of common humanity and justice. Hence, by considering what governance portends and its implications over time, one can begin to understand the roots of modern governance and the Nigerian experience.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, a combination of military and economic advantages had allowed imperial powers to expand the territory under their jurisdiction to include large parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This conquest of territory was both driven by and helped to facilitate the movement of people, goods, and capital in the decades leading up to World War I, with varied impacts on the development of both colonized countries and their colonizers. At the same time, imperial expansion also contributed means and motivation for the global conflicts which erupted during the twentieth century. After these conflicts, empires proved to be fragile. Little more than a half-century after they had reached their peak, most European empires had collapsed, and a new hegemonic order had emerged. This chapter examines the origins and legacies of empires, and asks why European countries lost their empires, despite persistent gaps in technological, military, and economic assets. It also examines the similarities and differences of the new order with the old.
This chapter shows how developments in military technology and strategy since the 1600s joined the political ambitions of states and merchants’ commercial interests to create European rules in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Why did warfare in early modern times produce this outcome? Wars and empires had existed before. The European warfare outside Europe, the chapter suggests, could exploit more resources than the other major powers in Eurasia could, leading to decisive shifts in the balance of power. At the same time, trade entailed violence, whether we consider the Atlantic slave trade or the impact of European wars upon the actions of the Indian Ocean merchant firms. A final section asks how empires shaped economic change in the world; and shows that the emergence of empires had lasting effects on commercialization, though direct effects on living standards until 1870 were ambiguous.
In The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh sets out to explore how literary forms and conventions have contributed to a ‘narrative imagination’ that is ill-equipped to grapple with climate change. He claims in passing that in comparison with the novel, which is his primary generic focus, literary non-fiction has been better able to circumvent culturally embedded ‘modes of concealment’ that prevent us from thinking the ‘unthinkable’. Yet, Ghosh does not explore how and why creative non-fiction might be more amenable to addressing climate change. Through a reading of The Great Derangement as creative non-fiction, as well as other examples of the genre, this chapter examines the genre’s potential benefits and limitations for shaping a ‘narrative imagination’ that disrupts the ‘modes of concealment’ bequeathed by colonial modernity.
The literary career of Richard Eun-kook Kim may best be viewed as a set of narrative responses to his biography and the broader political dilemma of modern Korea, one beset by differential and competing historical colonialisms and ideologies on the peninsula. Key figures in the USA were marshalled to serve Cold War interests by making literature a central instrument in winning transnational hearts and minds; Kim would benefit from this by becoming the first Asian to enroll in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, from which he would draft his first novel, The Martyred, whose popularity signaled that readers viewed Kim and his work as an expression of US liberal value from an Asian beneficiary of the Cold War project. But Kim’s form of realism actually serves as a form of narrative autonomy from such expected discursive capture. This, and in his later forays into speculative fiction and elegiac life writing – the novel The Innocent (1968) and collection Lost Names: Scenes of a Korean Boyhood (1970), respectively – Kim narrates a Korean temporality that seeks to minimize, even as it acknowledges, the influence of imperial powers.
Widely regarded as one of the earliest examples of Asian American literature, Younghill Kang’s 1937 novel East Goes West wields many of the signifiers of the immigrant novel, including an incisive critique of American racism and capitalism. However, East Goes West is only a part of his body of work, the majority of which goes ignored by Asian American scholarship. It is an understandable neglect, for Kang’s biography and writing resists conforming to the neat contours of existing paradigms. In one period, he traveled among New York’s literati as a writer, genial native informant, and advocate for Korean liberation from Japanese colonialism, and in another period toiled in obscurity as a journeyman intellectual. Yet even as he did so, glimpses of his ambivalence – veiled criticism of the US literary scene, open admiration of Japanese poetry, and increasing alarm regarding the US empire – complicate the narrative. This chapter frames the entirety of Kang’s work and life through a transpacific lens to fully comprehend his multivalent writerly projects.