twinned birthing of liberalism and imperialism in the nineteenth century, gave rise to liberal authoritarianism. This ideology, which underpinned Britain’s civilizing mission, took form in various enabling legal scaffoldings, including the evolution of
The “Moral Effect” of Legalized Lawlessness
Violence in Britain’s Twentieth-Century Empire
Investigating the Investigators
French Colonial Attempts to Supervise Its Policing System during the 1930s*
was jailed for life for a crime it was doubtful she had committed. 27 Yet, the motives for releasing Alandisso from prison were also political. The idea of the “civilizing mission” is evident in the commander's arguments. In his view, Alandisso might
“The Fourth Reich Is Here”
An Exploration of Populist Depictions of the European Union as a German Plot to Take Over Europe
powers,” which runs the risk that its efforts toward liberal norm diffusion could be perceived as paternalistic, similar to the “civilizing missions” of nineteenth-century imperial powers. 13 These contexts provide a canvas that can be easily
Olympe Audouard, Hubertine Auclert, and the Gender Politics of the Civilizing Mission
Building on Joan Scott's argument that the struggles of feminists since the Revolution have been rooted in the paradoxes of republican universalism, this article explores how two nineteenth-century feminists—Olympe Audouard and Hubertine Auclert—sought to escape the problem of sexual difference through engagement with the civilizing mission. They criticized the civilizing mission as chauvinistic and misogynistic to reveal how republican universalism had failed to address inequalities of both sex and race. They also proposed more inclusive forms of universalism: in her writing on Turkey, Audouard advocated cosmopolitanism, in which all peoples, regardless of race or sex, could contribute to civilization, while Auclert, in her writing on Algeria, supported assimilation as a way to endow both French women and Arabs with the rights of French men. Yet their versions of universalism were no less paradoxical than republican universalism. Through cosmopolitanism and assimilation, they invoked new others and worked strategically to displace sexual difference with racial, national, and religious difference.
Temporalization of Concepts
Reflections on the Concept of Unnati (Progress) in Hindi (1870–1900)
This article analyzes the historical semantics of the concept of unnati in the nationalist discourse in Hindi between 1870 and 1900. The article first outlines the basic features of the Enlightenment concept of progress using Koselleck's analysis. It then goes on to discuss the place of the concept of progress in the colonial ideology of a “civilizing mission,“ and concludes by taking up the analysis of the usage of the term unnati in the nationalist discourse in North India.
Police Power and Popular Culture in Colonial Algerian Theater
Following World War II, French police surveillance in Algeria increasingly focused on the threat of Algerian nationalism and policing theater proved no exception. The police assiduously investigated the contents of plays and the background of performers, seeking to determine whether a performance could be considered “purely artistic.” In cracking down on theater, the police attempted to produce “pro-French” art that could influence Algerian loyalties, a cultural civilizing mission carried out by the unlikely figure of the beat cop. Ultimately, their mission failed. Live performances presented an opportunity for spontaneity and improvisation that revealed the weakness of colonial policing. In this article, I argue that in trying to separate art from politics, the police created an impossibly capacious idea of the political, giving officers justification for inserting themselves into intimate moments of daily life. The personal, the interpersonal, and the artistic became a realm of police intervention.
Racialized Capacities and Transgressive Mobility
“Asian” Laborers and “Western” Urban Transportation in Colonial Manila and Singapore
Michael D. Pante
This article places race at the analytical center of a comparative urban transport history of early twentieth-century Singapore and Manila. It focuses on motorization, as seen in the influx and eventual dominance of streetcars and automobiles. The British and the American colonizers turned these Western-made vehicles into symbols of colonial modernity, defined in racialized terms. They regarded the different “Asiatics” as naturally ill-equipped to handle streetcars and automobiles, and when the colonized proved them wrong, the colonizers framed these acts using the racialist discourse of “potentiality.” Nevertheless, the native transport laborers appropriated motorized vehicles in ways that the colonizers did not imagine. Machines presented the natives a world of knowledge, which was maximized for financial gain. The acquisition of various forms of knowledge thus revealed a paradox of the civilizing mission: the colonizers exposed natives to the world of civilized knowledge, but the acquisition of this knowledge disrupted colonial discipline.
The Catholic Origins of Economic Development after World War II
The conceptual history of 'economic development' is often told as a US-centered story. The United States, according to the standard account, turned to economic development as a tool in its struggle for global dominance during the Cold War. In line with recent research, this article demonstrates that the post-World War II boom in economic development had European origins as well, and that it originated as a joint response to the Cold War and to the unraveling of European empires. In particular, emphasis is placed on the little-studied contribution of a French Catholic activist who helped redefine economic development in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Dominican Father Louis-Joseph Lebret stood at the head of an influential movement, which conceived of economic development as a way to save both France and Christianity in a moment of crisis for the French empire and for the Roman Catholic Church. In his writings, Lebret bestowed renewed legitimacy on the French 'civilizing mission.' He also revived elements of interwar Catholic thought to argue for the imperative of building a new moral-economic order that was neither communist nor capitalist. Far from a marginal historical actor, this theorist-practitioner was successful in his efforts, and gained followers for his vision of economic development in France, in Vatican City, at the United Nations, and in various former colonized countries.
An Inconvenient Expertise
French Colonial Sailors and Technological Knowledge in the Union Française
professional societies. 3 Largely excluded from these professional pathways, colonial sailors instead drew on France's mission civilisatrice , arguing that because of the ostensible success of the civilizing mission, they were bien élevés , or well
Richard Ivan Jobs, Judith Surkis, Laura Lee Downs, Nimisha Barton, and Kimberly A. Arkin
de France entre fierté et impatience,” Le Monde , 21 January 2015. Amelia Lyons, The Civilizing Mission in the Metropole: Algerian Families and the French Welfare State during Decolonization (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013). Review by