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Imperial Encounters: The Politics of Representation in North-South Relations

Series: Borderlines
Volume: 5
Copyright Date: 1996
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Imperial Encounters
    Book Description:

    “Developed/underdeveloped,” “first world/third world,” “modern/traditional”-although there is nothing inevitable, natural, or arguably even useful about such divisions, they are widely accepted as legitimate ways to categorize regions and peoples of the world. In Imperial Encounters, Roxanne Lynn Doty looks at the way these kinds of labels influence North-South relations, reflecting a history of colonialism and shaping the way national identity is constructed today.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8721-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    While scholars and policy makers in the North have been preoccupied with events in post-cold war Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the “third world” has by no means ceased to be of concern. North-South relations continue to be an important aspect of the post-cold war world.¹ To say this, however, presumes the a priori existence of the North and the South as unproblematic entities that encounter and interact with one another. North-South relations are then conceived as a realm of theory and practice concerned with these interactions. The issues encompassed by these interactions have included a wide range...

  5. Part I. Colonialism

    • Introduction to Part I
      (pp. 23-26)

      Foucault refers here (1980: 54) to the questioning, begun at the close of the colonial era, that challenged the entitlement of Western culture, Western science, and Western rationality itself to claim universal validity. As Said (1993) notes, however, there has been relatively little attention to the imperial experience in challenging this priority of the West. Nowhere has this lack of critical attention been more evident than in the discipline of international relations, which has systematically built a wall of silence around challenges to Western expertise and knowledge, especially regarding the non-Western “other.” International relations has claimed for itself the exclusive...

    • 2 To Be or Not to Be a Colonial Power
      (pp. 27-50)

      As the nineteenth century drew to a close, United States policy makers knew virtually nothing about the Philippine Islands or the human beings who lived there. Recreating the scene at President McKinley’s cabinet meeting as word of Commodore Dewey’s victory in Manila Bay arrived, Mark Twain satirically suggested that two questions arose: (1) What is Manila? A town, continent, archipelago, or what? This was found difficult. Some members believed it was one of these things, some another. The President reserved his opinion.

      (2) Where was it? Some members thought it was somewhere, some thought it was elsewhere, others thought not....

    • 3 Getting the “Natives” to Work
      (pp. 51-72)

      Said (1978: 92) has suggested that for imperialists such as Balfour as well as for anti-imperialists like J. A. Hobson, the Oriental, like the African, is a member of a subject race and not exclusively an inhabitant of a geographical area. The same can be said of the “native.” The colonial “native” was an operative category that functioned to classify human beings, though not necessarily according to geography or place of origin. The United States had its “natives” in the Philippines. The British had their “natives” in Africa and elsewhere. The specific referent of this term varied but almost always...

  6. PART II. Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies

    • Introduction to Part II
      (pp. 75-78)

      Counterinsurgency policies have been a major element of post-World War II foreign policy toward the countries collectively referred to as the “third world.” Such policies were considered essential within the context of a world divided along the geopolitical lines of East versus West with each side seeking to win those not yet fully committed to either camp. Counterinsurgency has thus taken on a meaning that generally presumes the context of a communist-led, -supported, or -influenced insurgency. To so limit our understanding of this phenomenon, however, obscures the diverse and scattered elements that came together to give meaning and currency to...

    • 4 Precocious Children, Adolescent Nations
      (pp. 79-98)

      On July 4, 1946, for the first time in history, an imperial nation voluntarily relinquished possession of its colonial conquest (Karnow 1989: 323). As the United States granted independence to the Philippines, the new relationship between the two was widely heralded as one of partnership and equality.⁴ Discourses surrounding this event reflected certain discontinuities with the earlier colonial discourses. The Philippines were re-presented as a sovereign nation-state, inhabited by “a people” who replaced the “heterogeneous mass” of colonial times. The relationship between the United States and the Philippines was announced as a partnership. Though the Philippines had been confronted with...

    • 5 Resistance in Colonial Kenya
      (pp. 99-122)

      What has been termed the Mau Mau rebellion also has been described as the “first great African liberation movement,” which “precipitated what was probably the gravest crisis in the history of Britain’s African colonies,” and the first struggle between black Africans and white minority rule in modern Africa (Edgerton 1989: vii, x). Few mass movements have elicited as much controversy as this one did (Rosberg and Nottingham 1966: xvi).¹ This rebellion occurred against the background of massive “third world” upheavals after the Second World War, when European empires were being dismantled by Nehru in India, Nasser in Egypt, and Sukarno...

  7. Part III. Contemporary Encounters

    • Introduction to Part III
      (pp. 125-126)

      Contemporary encounters between the North and the South have been extremely varied and have occurred in several different arenas and within the context of a rapidly and permanently changing world. In Part III I focus on (1) three prominent and interrelated issues (foreign aid, democracy, and human rights) that have been more recent focal points in North-South relations and (2) academic and scholarly representations of North-South relations. While foreign aid, democracy, and human rights are very much contemporary issues, it is possible to locate within them traces of concerns I expressed in earlier chapters about other encounters.

      Being democratic, freedom-loving,...

    • 6 Foreign Aid, Democracy, and Human Rights
      (pp. 127-144)

      Since the end of World War II, foreign aid has been one of the major issues in North-South relations.² Aid has not just been about giving assistance to needy countries. Rather, foreign aid has and continues to be linked to other important issues such as democracy and human rights. These other issues have animated much of the discourse surrounding foreign assistance. In this chapter I view these three interrelated issues as contemporary sites (or “non-places”) of North-South encounter wherein meanings and international identities have been constructed and reconstructed.

      My concern is not with foreign aid, democracy, or human rights per...

    • 7 Repetition and Variation: Academic Discourses on North-South Relations
      (pp. 145-162)

      In the previous chapters I have examined how power has worked through various discursive practices that have produced different “truths” and the practices those “truths” made possible. The missions to civilize, to fight communism, to promote democracy and human rights have often masked the workings of power, not because the individuals involved (the speakers of the discourses) were consciously and intentionally engaged in a game of deceit with an underlying ulterior motive. Rather, power was masked because power was (and is) generally understood to be separate from “truth” and knowledge. Coming to “know” is not conceived as an exercise of...

    • 8 Conclusion
      (pp. 163-172)

      Said (1979: 25) points out that the only available English translation of Gramsci’sPrison Notebooksinexplicably leaves out the last line of the Italian text, which goes on to say that “therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory.” In an important sense, this study can be considered an inventory, though admittedly only a very partial one, of some of the representational practices that have enabled the North to “know” both itself and the South. Objections will undoubtedly be raised that the inventory I have provided in this study is focused too heavily on Northern practices...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 173-192)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 193-210)
  10. Index
    (pp. 211-214)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 215-215)