New Zealand’s empire

New Zealand’s Empire revises and expands received histories of empire and imperialism. In the study of the imperial past, both colonial and postcolonial approaches have often asserted the dualism of core and periphery, with New Zealand as on the ‘edge’ or as a ‘periphery’. This book critically revises and makes complex our understandings of the range of ways that New Zealand has played a role as an ‘imperial power’, including the cultural histories of New Zealand inside the British empire, engagements with imperial practices and notions of imperialism, the special significance of New Zealand in the Pacific region, and the circulation of the ideas of empire both through and inside New Zealand over time. It departs from earlier studies of both imperial and national histories by taking a new approach: seeing New Zealand as both powerful as an imperial envoy, and as having its own sovereign role in Pacific nations - as well as in Australia and Antarctica - but also through its examination of the manifold ways in which New Zealanders both look back at and comment on their relationships with the ‘empire’ over time. In separate essays that span social, cultural, political and economic history, contributors test the concept of ‘New Zealand’s Empire’, taking new directions in both historiographical and empirical research.

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‘Scholars who have been following the historiography of British settler colonialism over the past few decades can testify to the significant contributions made by historians of New Zealand to this body of work. New Zealand'sEmpire, though, takes that work in a new and intriguing direction, as it asks questions about multiple forms of empire in New Zealand's history.'
Cecilia Morgan, University of Toronto
Australian Historical Studies, 48

‘The book rewards its readers with a series of original, varied, and sometimes intriguing essays into particular dimensions…the editors succeed in their stated aim of opening up discussion as to how New Zealand's own empire might be conceived.'
Vincent O'Malley
July 2016

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