Read e-book online Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal PDF

By Karuna Mantena

ISBN-10: 0691128162

ISBN-13: 9780691128160

ISBN-10: 8178242877

ISBN-13: 9788178242873

Alibis of Empire provides a singular account of the origins, substance, and afterlife of overdue imperial ideology. Karuna Mantena demanding situations the concept Victorian empire was once essentially legitimated by means of liberal notions of development and civilization. in truth, because the British Empire won its farthest succeed in, its ideology used to be being dramatically reworked by way of a self-conscious rejection of the liberal version. The cave in of liberal imperialism enabled a brand new culturalism that under pressure the risks and problems of attempting to "civilize" local peoples. And, hand in hand with this shift in pondering used to be a shift in perform towards versions of oblique rule. As Mantena exhibits, the paintings of Victorian criminal student Henry Maine was once on the heart of those momentous alterations. Alibis of Empire examines how Maine's sociotheoretic version of "traditional" society laid the basis for the culturalist common sense of overdue empire. In charting the flow from liberal idealism, via culturalist rationalization, to retroactive alibi inside of nineteenth-century British imperial ideology, Alibis of Empire finds a awesome and pervasive dynamic of recent empire.

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Extra info for Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism

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The crisis of liberal imperialism was part and parcel of the waning of moral justifications of empire. ” In this context, new sociological and anthropological theories of native society proved particularly effective as alternative modes of imperial legitimation; they functioned less as justifications than as alibis for the fait accompli of empire. THE MORALITY OF EMPIRE . . at first English power came among them unaccompanied by English morality. There was an interval between the time at which they became our subjects, and the time at which we began to reflect that we were bound to discharge towards them the duties of rulers.

84 As criticism of the bill mounted in both Britain and India, it became increasingly clear that what was at stake was less the status of British Indians per se than the fundamental philosophy of British rule in India. 85 The question, according to Ripon, was not about the particular provisions supported by the Ilbert Bill, 40 C H A P T E R O N E but the principles upon which India is to be governed. Is she to be ruled for the benefit of the Indian people of all races, classes, and creeds, or in the sole interest of a small body of Europeans?

67 For Mehta, universalism in liberalism is derived from a minimalist philosophical anthropology, that is, from the articulation of a minimum set of characteristics and capacities taken to be common to all humans. In the liberal tradition, these common, universal, characteristics are often construed as natural freedom, moral equality, and the innate capacity to reason. The political actualization of these universalist premises—for example, to be included in the political constituency of the Lockean social contract or to be capable of permanent improvement in the Millian sense—is nevertheless mediated by the real capacity of the potential citizen to properly exercise their reason.

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Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism by Karuna Mantena


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