Amanda Nettelbeck
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From humanitarianism to humane governance
Aboriginal slavery and white Australia
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Humanitarianism and violence have traditionally been understood as polarised states, one serving as a mitigating response to the other. It is only recently that scholars have begun to align the two terms to consider how state-directed humanitarian interventions can be imbricated with conditions of violence. Similarly, recent work on humanitarianism’s imperial underpinnings has drawn out the ways that its appeals to values of universal humanity have been interwoven with the cultural, political or military violence of colonial state-building. This chapter builds on these themes to consider how humanitarian orientations in British imperial policy adapted to evolving expressions of colonial violence over the course of the nineteenth century as the key period of almost unbridled global expansion. Around the British world, the nineteenth century was notable for the range of humanitarian policy initiatives that were triggered by calls to protect those left most at risk of colonial violence or exploitation. But while the long-term objective of humanitarian policy was to check abuses and misuses of colonial power, the process of generating a culture of humane rule was often directly entangled with the enlistment and justification of violence

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Humanitarianism, empire and transnationalism, 1760–1995

Selective humanity in the Anglophone world


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