This book examines state–society relations in one of Britain’s last strategically important colonial dependencies, Hong Kong. Using under-exploited archival evidence, it explores how a reformist colonial administration investigated Chinese political culture, and how activism by social movements in Hong Kong impacted on policymaking. This book is framed around the organisational capacity of the colonial state to monitor public opinion, notably through the covert opinion polling exercises Town Talk and MOOD. Hong Kong people had extremely limited democratic rights but these exercises constructed ‘public opinion’, which was used by unelected officials to respond to public needs and to seek to minimise social conflict. There were two implications of this shift in colonial governance. On the one hand, Town Talk and MOOD provided the colonial government with the organisational capacity to conduct surveillance, monitoring the Chinese society closely: this was a manifestation of ‘covert colonialism’, a strategy to strengthen British control of Hong Kong. On the other hand, the presence of these exercises indicated that the mentality of the colonial bureaucrats was changing. This was an acknowledgment that Hong Kong, an atypical colony that was expected to retrocede to China rather than gain independence, was moving towards a new form of ‘decolonisation’. Significantly, covert colonialism allowed ordinary people to take part in the policymaking process in a state-controlled manner that would not provoke a hostile response from China. This effort by the colonial government to manage public opinion interacted in complex ways with a diverse variety of Chinese communities engaging with new political movements.
a figure that highlights the scale of
wealthy nations’ ability to move emissions off their environmental books. 17 There is even a name for this practice.
The ability to effectively outsource emissions from richer to poorer nations has been
described as ‘carbon colonialism’: 18 a term emphasising the historical power relations that underpin carbon
accounting. Wealthier countries, overwhelmingly responsible for climate change both
historically and currently, have set the terms of carbon mitigation at the negotiating
empire, and to Britain in China. This repertoire facilitated the
operation under the British flag in China, in the treaty ports and
beyond, of a wide range of interests and groups. But they operated too,
and for too long, beyond the effective reach of the British state.
Sino-British relations before the 1930s were hamstrung by a
semi-autonomous colonialism which the British state
Drawing on the latest contemporary research from an internationally acclaimed group of scholars, this book examines the meanings of 'law' and 'imperialism'. The book explores the effects of the presence of indigenous peoples on the modification, interpretation and inheritance of British laws and the legal ideology by white law-makers. It offers a brief history of imperial law, focusing ultimately on its terminal failure in colonialism. The first part of the book presents the processes of colonialism's legality, the internal dynamics of law's theories, the external politics of law's rule. A brief history of imperial law, focusing ultimately on its terminal failure in colonialism, follows. The second part foregrounds racial differentiation at the heart of colonialism, and the work of law(s), courts and legislatures. It helps in defining a colonial population and in categorizing and excluding colonized populations from citizenship in specific localities. The central theme of the third part of the book is conflict: of collision between differing legalities and concepts of justice. The focus is on legal principles and evidence, and on narrative as imperial power. The fourth part explores and analyzes specific historical instances where law and history intersect, challenging European paradigms of sovereignty and fairness from the perspective of indigenous rights. Colonialism lives on in settler societies and other so-called 'postcolonial' states. It lives in continuing conflict over natural resources, daily reconstitution of gender and 'race', and the ongoing challenge to the veracity of indigenous evidence in courtrooms.
In Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa indigenous peoples were displaced, marginalised and sometimes subjected to attempted genocide through the colonial process. This book is a collection of essays that focuses on the ways the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the heterogeneous white colonial communities has been obscured, narrated and embodied in public culture. The essays and artwork in this book insist that an understanding of the political and cultural institutions and practices which shaped settler-colonial societies in the past can provide important insights into how this legacy of unequal rights can be contested in the present. The essays in the first part of the book focus on colonial administrative structures and their intersection with the emergence of settler civil society in terms of welfare policy, regional colonial administration, and labour unions. The second section focuses on the struggles over the representation of national histories through the analyses of key cultural institutions and monuments, both historically and in terms of contemporary strategies. The third section provides comparative instances of historical and contemporary challenges to the colonial legacy from indigenous and migrant communities. The final section of the book explores some of the different voices and strategies for articulating the complexities of lived experience in transforming societies with a history of settler colonialism.
From colonialism to ecocide:
capital’s insatiable need to destroy
Stora Enso is one of Uruguay’s biggest landowners. It
is also a major plantation owner in the Bahia area of
Brazil. Let us reflect on this for a moment. If Finland,
Stora Enso’s home state, was one of Uruguay’s biggest
landowners then this would have an entirely different
meaning. After all, Finland is one European country
that never had colonies. And yet Stora Enso has been
accused of having a colonial attitude to its operations
in both Uruguay and Brazil.
In those countries, Stora Enso has
aspects of the past, integral to the historical narrative. Such a
view of the feminist historical project, however, has some
problematic implications when applied to the history of empire.
The recuperative drive to place women in the history of
colonialism and imperialism takes the texts and reminiscences of
white women as literal accounts of their experiences, authentic and
During the summer of 2000, I took my last fieldwork trip to the
Uyghur homeland. The region had an ominous feeling to it that
seemed to foretell its future direction. I had returned to Ghulja for
the first time in about three years; the city, which was one of the few
Uyghur urban centers in the north, felt as if it had lost its Uyghur
characteristics and become much more of a generic small Chinese
urban space. Urumqi was a mass of construction, as the PRC was
already aspiring to make it a commercial hub for
The Caldwell affair and the perils of collaboration in early colonial Hong Kong
formed between certain well placed European
officials and their Chinese collaborators.
The reliance of colonial regimes on local middlemen has, since Ronald Robinson
sketched out his model of indigenous collaboration in 1972, become an essential part of any
explanation of colonialism, though it is only very recently that the model has been
systematically applied to Hong Kong. 3 The
more respectable Chinese middlemen of early colonial Hong Kong have nevertheless been the
focus of much productive research, which has traced
PART I Colonialism’s
legality Legalism accompanied and
facilitated European colonial expansion into the New World in the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries, and it was at the core of the colonialist
enterprise from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Here we see the
processes of colonialism’s legality, the internal dynamics of
law’s theories, the external politics of law’s rule.