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Contested Representations

Exploring China’s State Report

Halme-Tuomisaari and Miia

As states become parties to international human rights treaties, they undertake the obligation to provide periodic state reports to UN human rights treaty bodies. Officially, state reports are paramount vehicles of factual information of a given state’s human rights situation. Unofficially their status may be contested and their data reduced to state propaganda. This article examines this transformation through the submission of China’s first state report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The article shows how human rights documents of diverse genres join together in a continual ceremony of dialogue. It connects minute details of treaty body proceedings to more general developments in the international human rights field, and argues that beneath the veneer of diplomatic conduct accompanying human rights dialogue lays an intense struggle for representation and legitimacy. It further discusses how this struggle reflects the recent rise of Kantian theories of international law. These theories seek to re-evaluate the foundational concept of international law, namely ‘sovereign equality’, and, thus continue the mission civilisatrice that has characterized elements of international collaboration for centuries.

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Empire by Example?

Deportees in France and Algeria and the Re-Making of a Modern Empire, 1846-1854

Allyson Jaye Delnore

In 1847–1848, two well-publicized events ended in colonial and metropolitan deportees crisscrossing the Mediterranean between France and Algeria. In the first, Abd al-Qadir surrendered to French forces in the colony after a protracted resistance and was deported to the metropole in January 1848. Then, after the bloody reprisals of the June Days months later, the National Convention sentenced thousands of Parisian insurgents to “transportation,” eventually settling on Algeria as their destination. In both cases, the sentence of deportation seemed to satisfy both the penal and imperial goals of post-Revolutionary France: political stability, public order, and imperial expansion. But in practice, both episodes of deportation also heralded a new era. After 1854, the French government began consolidating punishment at the colonial peripheries while at the same time subjecting more individuals to deportation, signaling a shift in the relationship between colony and metropole that complemented emerging theories of crime and punishment.

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Emmanuelle Sibeud

Les enquêtes ethnographiques en situation coloniale sont explicitement une incarnation de la mission civilisatrice qui « découvre » scientifiquement les populations en les assujettissant. Elles produisent en conséquence des représentations qui confirment les différences justifiant la domination. Mais elles sont aussi des incursions d’une société dans l’autre et elles reposent sur des formes d’empathie mises en exergue dès le début du XXe siècle par des enquêteurs soucieux de faire reconnaître la spécificité du savoir qu’ils accumulent sur les populations qu’ils sont chargés de dominer. Elles relèvent donc de ce que Georges Balandier définit comme « l’inauthenticité » fondamentale de la société coloniale1, tout en introduisant une logique exogène en contradiction latente avec l’ordre colonial, et. Ainsi parce qu’elles oscillent entre conformisme et transgression, elles investissent une marge d’autonomie inattendue au coeur même de la situation coloniale.

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Aro Velmet and Rachel Kantrowitz

somewhere in between, in the sweet spot for enacting the mission civilisatrice . The result was a segregated Tunis, where Jews bore the brunt of property destruction and relocation. Chapter 3 complicates the story of public health governmentality by

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The Rhizomatic Algerian Revolution in Three Twenty-First- Century Transnational Documentaries

Algérie tours, détours (2006), La Chine est encore loin (2009), Fidaï (2012)

Nicole Beth Wallenbrock

Algerians about their own cinema and history reiterates paternalistic aspects of France’s imperial conquest, the mission civilisatrice . The word mission describes the historically grounded nationalist ideology’s similarity to a religious conquest; a view

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Christopher E. Forth

. The qualities that made Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza a “pacific conqueror” of Central Africa were common to the moderate mission civilisatrice promoted early in the Third Republic. Here was a bona fide “man’s man, but one with prominent ‘feminine

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Are “the Natives” Educable?

Dutch Schoolchildren Learn Ethical Colonial Policy (1890–1910)

Elisabeth Wesseling and Jacques Dane

, but rather elevated to a higher level of civilization became widespread. The British took up the white man’s burden; the French committed themselves to a so-called civilizing mission ( mission civilisatrice) ; and the Dutch embraced the so

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Variants of Frontier Mimesis

Colonial Encounter and Intercultural Interaction in the Lao-Vietnamese Uplands

Oliver Tappe

their main argument for the French mission civilisatrice (civilizing mission) and pacification of the upland frontier ( Fourniau 2002 ). Certainly, with the arrival of the French, the general political situation and local power configurations changed

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Ajume H. Wingo

proper relationship between state and society has come to an end with the universal consensus that liberal democratic capitalism is not just the best but the only reasonable form of politico-economic arrangement. 15 In fact, the mission civilisatrice by

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Nadia Malinovich

European and French colonial hegemony, as it provided French Jews with a means of participating on their own terms in the French mission civilisatrice . The AIU’s project was infused with assumptions about French cultural superiority and represented the