Humanitarianism and empire: new research agendas

Skinner, Rob and Lester, Alan (2012) Humanitarianism and empire: new research agendas. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 40 (5). pp. 729-747. ISSN 0308-6534

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This article provides an introductory overview of themes raised in this special edition of
the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. We suggest that, while recent
work such as Michael Barnett’s Empire of Humanity has begun to explore the history
of western humanitarianism, academic researchers can do more to address the intricate
framework of relations between humanitarianism and empire, and that the history of
humanitarianism can usefully be viewed as a fundamental component of imperial
relations, a way of bridging trans-imperial, international and transnational approaches.
We set the papers in this collection within the wider historiography of nineteenth and
twentieth century humanitarianism, and outline how the humanitarian ‘impulse’ intersected
with debates around anti-slavery, colonial administration and the protection of
indigenous peoples. We also outline the ways in which twentieth-century international
‘networks of concern’ engaged with, and built upon, the discourses of imperial humanitarianism.
Finally, we briefly consider the benefits of a ‘transnational’ approach in sketching
the history of empire and humanitarianism.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History, 1453- > D299 1789-
Depositing User: Alan Lester
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2012 14:49
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2012 14:49
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