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Vicky Randall

Chapter 6 focuses on Freeman’s second neglected volume on Oriental history, the Ottoman Power in Europe. Written at the height of the Great Eastern Crisis, which was the consequence of the Bulgarian atrocities, Freeman wrote the volume as a polemic against the Ottoman Empire. Freeman narrates the history of the Turks in order to demonstrate that their religion has meant that they have never been able to treat Christians fairly, and that they have consistently committed barbarous and violent acts. I argue that Freeman’s work is suffused by his fear of the ‘Oriental conspiracy’ between Jews and Muslims, and examine his call for a war which would, finally and permanently, remove the Ottoman power from Europe.

in History, empire, and Islam
Vicky Randall

This chapter considers Freeman’s hostility towards the contemporary Ottoman Empire as a representative of the ‘backwardness’ of Muslim nations. Freeman was especially incensed by the Ottoman rule over the Christians of south-eastern Europe as he believed that the Turkish Empire was preventing the Aryans of those nations from progressing. These attitudes were dramatically reinforced, for Freeman, by the news that the Ottomans had committed atrocities against their Bulgarian subjects in 1876. Together with Gladstone, Freeman led a nation-wide campaign calling on the British government to intervene on behalf of the subjects of the Ottoman Empire. That the Premier, Benjamin Disraeli, refused to do so was taken by Freeman as evidence of his natural sympathy for the Islamic power. I argue that the hysterical tone of much of Freeman’s writing on this topic was underpinned by his belief that Disraeli, as a ‘Jew’, was conspiring with the Muslim Turks in a plot to destroy Euro-Christendom.

in History, empire, and Islam
E. A. Freeman and Victorian public morality
Author: Vicky Randall

This book seeks to reclaim E. A. Freeman (1823–92) as a leading Victorian historian and public moralist. Freeman was a prolific writer of history, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and outspoken commentator on current affairs. His reputation declined sharply in the twentieth century, however, and the last full-scale biography was W. R. W. Stephens’ Life and Letters of Edward A. Freeman (1895). When Freeman is remembered today, it is for his six-volume History of the Norman Conquest (1867–79), celebrations of English progress, and extreme racial views.

Revisiting Freeman and drawing on previously unpublished materials, this study analyses his historical texts in relationship to the scholarly practices and intellectual preoccupations of their time. Most importantly, it draws out Thomas Arnold’s influence on Freeman’s understanding of history as a cyclical process in which the present collapsed into the past and vice versa. While Freeman repeatedly insisted on the superiority of the so-called ‘Aryans’, a deeper reading shows that he defined race in terms of culture rather than biology and articulated anxieties about decline and recapitulation. Contrasting Freeman’s volumes on Western and Eastern history, this book foregrounds religion as the central category in Freeman’s scheme of universal history. Ultimately, he conceived world-historical development as a battleground between Euro-Christendom and the Judeo-Islamic Orient and feared that the contemporary expansion of the British Empire and contact with the East would prove disastrous.

The critique of British expansionism
Vicky Randall

This chapter considers Freeman’s determined public campaign against late Victorian proposals for Imperial Federation. Where proponents of this scheme argued for formal constitutional union between Britain and the white settler colonies, including Canada and Australia, Freeman maintained that such schemes were dangerously unprecedented in Western history. Joining forces with W. E. Gladstone, Freeman argued that a better model of co-operation, based on free and mutual friendship between the metropolis and its outposts, could be found in the loose federations of ancient Greece. Through an examination of Freeman’s letters to the press, his History of Federal Government in Greece and Italy, and Rede lecture on ‘The Unity of History’, I demonstrate that Freeman was a leading critic of the British Empire. Freeman was hostile to the Empire due to his fear of over-extension and disaster and because the Empire included non-Aryans. Ultimately, I demonstrate that Freeman viewed the West and the East as two separately co-existing and conflicting cultures and was anxious about the possible outcomes of contact between the two civilisations.

in History, empire, and Islam
Abstract only
‘History is past politics, politics is present history’
Vicky Randall

The introduction explains the purpose of the book as an attempt to reassess the works of the Victorian historian Edward Augustus Freeman. It highlights Freeman’s position as a leading scholar and public moralist of the nineteenth century and also considers some of the characteristics of his writing which limited his success. Freeman’s debt to the Liberal Anglican philosopher Thomas Arnold is discussed, as are Freeman’s racial views. There is also a review of recent literature on Freeman.

in History, empire, and Islam
Vicky Randall

Chapter 4 considers the first of Freeman’s two neglected volumes on the East, the History and Conquests of the Saracens. Drawing on the theoretical framework of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) I argue that Freeman consciously represented the East as the inferior and opposite ‘other’ of the West. In so doing, Freeman interlaced both racial ideas about the Orient and an intense form of Islamophobia. For Freeman it was the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad that are the leading cause of what he perceived to be the ‘backwards’ and ‘barbaric’ culture of the Arabic-Islamic world.

in History, empire, and Islam
Vicky Randall

Chapter 1 examines Freeman’s magnum-opus, the six-volume History of the Norman Conquest. It begins by situating this work in relationship to traditions of writing about 1066 which had developed between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Against this background it is argued that Freeman attempted to incorporate several competing interpretations of history into his work – these included the myth of the ‘Norman Yoke’; the ‘Whig’ view of the past; the Liberal Anglican philosophy; and racialised Victorian Romanticism. Assessing the ways in which Freeman’s commitment to these tropes distorted his use of sources and his narrative, I argue that he was not a straightforward panegyrist to English progress, as is commonly assumed.

in History, empire, and Islam
Clara Eroukhmanoff

This chapter examines the role of emotions in securitisation theory and first provides an overview of how emotions are currently integrated in securitisation studies. The chapter then theorises securitisation as an affective practice which is affected by the indirectness and remoteness described in Chapter 5. The chapter also looks at the ways in which gender and the myth of protection play out in the field of security professionals. The chapter argues that securitising Islam indirectly sustains the myth of American innocence and paints America as the ‘true victim’ of 9/11 insofar as the indirectness removes the affective experience that usually accompanies securitisation processes. This chapter thus looks at the securitisation of Islam in an all-encompassing way by adding texture to the analysis of the securitisation of Islam; that is, by including the role of the body, affect, emotions and space, which are central to the proliferation of Islamophobic attitudes in the United States.

in The securitisation of Islam
Clara Eroukhmanoff

This chapter sketches out the contours of the logic of counterterrorism and argues that it is informed by a rationalist framework, or ‘the logic of expected consequences’, which reproduces the classical view of sciences. This chapter then shows that this logic transforms cognitive radicalised subjects into behavioural terrorists and creates distance and remoteness between securitisers and securitised subjects. To demonstrate this argument, the idea of remote securitisation is first unpacked, showing how it is achieved through the use of metaphors, euphemisation and the logic of consequences. Finally, the chapter introduces two vantage points to address the problems created by remoteness, one well established and the other more radical, from which the classical view collapses: Pierre Bourdieu’s social and relational ontology and the idea of a Quantum Human.

in The securitisation of Islam
Abstract only
Clara Eroukhmanoff

This chapter summarises and consolidates the principal themes of the book and rounds up the discussion by proposing new avenues for research – namely, strengthening the relationship between covert racism, the securitisation of minority groups and white victimhood, opening up a space for conceptualising securitisation as an affective practice and theorising the quantum view of radicalisation.

in The securitisation of Islam