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Ideas in Context Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850-1920

by Gregory (Royal Holloway, University of London) Claeys

Ideas in Context Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850-1920 Synopsis

Imperial Sceptics provides a highly original analysis of the emergence of opposition to the British Empire from 1850-1920. Departing from existing accounts, which have focused upon the Boer War and the writings of John Hobson, Gregory Claeys proposes a new chronology for the contours of resistance to imperial expansion. Claeys locates the impetus for such opposition in the late 1850s with the British followers of Auguste Comte. Tracing critical strands of anti-imperial thought through to the First World War, Claeys then scrutinises the full spectrum of socialist writings from the early 1880s onwards, revealing a fundamental division over whether a new conception of 'socialist imperialism' could appeal to the electorate and satisfy economic demands. Based upon extensive archival research, and utilising rare printed sources, Imperial Sceptics will prove a major contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century political thought, shedding new light on theories of nationalism, patriotism, the state and religion.

Ideas in Context Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850-1920 Press Reviews

Review of the hardback: 'An essential addition to the scanty existing literature on the 'other side' of the Imperial debate in Britain. It is good to see the subject moving on at last.' The Times Literary Supplement The book explores a variety of fascinating subthemes: lively disputes over the sovereignty of the state, contestations over the possibilities and limitations of religions fostering a tolerant cosmopolitanism, and the development of internationalism. This is a compelling study that revises the chronology of antagonism to empire and advances novel arguments about the legacy of Positivism and the religious sources and the communitarian ideals at the heart of anti-imperialism at the height of empire. - S. M. den Otter, Queen's University, Canada, Journal of British Studies

Book Information

ISBN: 9781107407091
Publication date: 30th August 2012
Author: Gregory (Royal Holloway, University of London) Claeys
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 356 pages
Categories: Colonialism & imperialism, Political science & theory,

About Gregory (Royal Holloway, University of London) Claeys

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