Articles and essays
Behm, Amanda, “Settler Historicism and Anticolonial Rebuttal in the British World, 1880- 1920,” Journal of World History 26, 4 (2015).
This article seeks to recast the break-up of the British Empire in the light of the longer duel between settler and native, or so-called dependent, interests over the legitimate nature of British connection. This article explains why, after 1880, public intellectuals and emerging academic historians working from Britain divided the British Empire into two parts temporally and politically and championed the self-governing colonies at the expense of the non-white, authoritarian empire.
Collins, Michael, “Nation, State, and Agency: Evolving Historiographies of African Decolonization,” in Andrew W.M. Smith and Chris Jeppesen (eds.), Future Imperfect: Britain, France, and the Decolonization of Africa, London, UK: UCL Press, 2017.
This essay explores the power of historiography in African decolonization and development from the mid-twentieth century onward.
Stanard, Matthew, “The Colonial Past is Never Dead, it’s Not Even Past: Histories of Empire, Decolonization, and European Cultures after 1945,” Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte/European History Yearbook (2016).
History writing about empire is thriving, although few could have predicted this in the 1980s, when the field was moribund. This article examines the history and historiography of post-1945 empires and decolonization, observing how international and economic developments, combined with changes to the history profession, revived the field in the 1990s.
Books and readers
Bailkin, Jordanna, The Afterlife of Empire, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012.
The book traces a set of diverse yet interrelated stories: West Indian migrants repatriated for mental illness, young Britons volunteering in the former colonies, overseas students seeking higher education, polygamous husbands and wives facing invalidation of their marriages, West African children raised by white, working-class British families, and Irish deportees suspected of terrorism. Postwar welfare–from mental health to child care–was never simply a British story, but was shaped by global forces, from the experiences and expectations of individual migrants to the emergence of new legal regimes in Africa and Asia.
Bandeira Jeronimo, Miguel and Antonio Costa Pinto (eds.), The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons, London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
This volume provides a multidimensional assessment of the diverse ends of the European colonial empires, addressing different geographies, taking into account diverse chronologies of decolonization, and evaluating the specificities of each imperial configuration under appreciation (Portuguese, Belgian, French, British, Dutch).
Banivanua Mar, Tracey, Decolonisation and the Pacific: Indigenous Globalization and the Ends of Empire, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
This book charts the previously untold story of decolonization in the oceanic world of the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, presenting it both as an indigenous and an international phenomenon. Banivanua Mar reveals how the inherent limits of decolonization were laid bare by the historical peculiarities of colonialism in the region, and demonstrates the way imperial powers conceived of decolonization as a new form of imperialism. She shows how Indigenous peoples responded to these limits by developing rich intellectual, political and cultural networks transcending colonial and national borders, with localized traditions of protest and dialogue connected to the global ferment of the twentieth century.
Buettner, Elizabeth, Europe after Empire: Decolonization, Society, and Culture, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
This book is a pioneering comparative history of European decolonization from the formal ending of empires to the postcolonial European present. Buettner charts the long-term development of post-war decolonization processes as well as the histories of inward and return migration from former empires which followed.
Klose, Fabian, The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas and Practices from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Klose unites a team of leading scholars to investigate some of the most complex and controversial debates regarding the legitimacy of protecting humanitarian norms and universal human rights by non-violent and violent means. Charting the development of humanitarian intervention from its origins in the nineteenth century through to the present day, the book surveys the philosophical and legal rationales of enforcing humanitarian norms by military means, and how attitudes to military intervention on humanitarian grounds have changed over the course of three centuries.
Leake, Elizabeth and Leslie James (eds.), Decolonization and the Cold War, London, UK: Bloomsbury, 2015.
The Cold War and decolonization transformed the twentieth century world. This volume brings together an international line-up of experts to explore how these transformations took place and expand on some of the latest threads of analysis to help inform our understanding of the links between the two phenomena.
Sebe, Berny, K. Nicolaidis, and G. Maas (eds.), Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies, London, UK: IB Tauris, 2015.
How does our colonial past echo through today’s global politics? How have former empire-builders sought vindication or atonement, and formerly colonized states reversal or retribution? This ground-breaking book presents a panoramic view of attitudes to empires past and present, seen not only through the hard politics of international power structures but also through the nuances of memory, historiography and national and minority cultural identities.
Veracini, Lorenzo, Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
A vivid exploration of the history of a very powerful and long lasting idea: building European worlds outside of Europe. Veracini outlines how the founding of new societies was envisaged and practiced and explores the specific ways in which settler colonial projects tried to establish ideal and regenerated political bodies.
Veracini, Lorenzo, The Settler Colonial Present, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Veracini explores the ways in which settler colonialism as a specific mode of domination informs the global present. It presents an argument regarding its extraordinary resilience and diffusion and reflects on the need to imagine its decolonization.