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Taming the Imperial Imagination : Colonial Knowledge, International Relations, and the Anglo-afghan

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"Taming the Imperial Imagination marks a novel intervention into the debate on empire and international relations, and offers a new perspective on nineteenth-century Anglo-Afghan relations. Martin J. Bayly shows how, throughout the nineteenth century, the British Empire in India sought to understand and control its peripheries through the use of colonial knowledge. Addressing the fundamental question of what Afghanistan itself meant to the British at the time, he draws on extensive archival research to show how knowledge of Afghanistan was built, refined and warped by an evolving colonial state. This knowledge informed policy choices and cast Afghanistan in a separate legal and normative universe. Beginning with the disorganised exploits of nineteenth-century explorers and ending with the cold strategic logic of the militarised 'scientific frontier', this book tracks the nineteenth-century origins of contemporary policy 'expertise' and the forms of knowledge that inform interventions in Iraq, Afghanistanand elsewhere today. The book develops in three parts, each of which corresponds to a theme. Part one on 'knowledge' examines how British colonial knowledge of Afghanistan was constructed through the experience of early British explorers and their published travel accounts, focusing in particular on the works of Mountstuart Elphinstone, Alexander Burnes, and Charles Masson. Part two on 'policy' looks at how key policy decisions leading to the First Anglo-Afghan War were shaped by the knowledge provided by an Afghanistan 'knowledge community' based on this earlier body of work and the interpretations made by colonial officials. Part three on 'exception' considers the impact of the First Anglo-Afghan War on diplomatic relations, and charts the emergence ofa particular 'idea' of Afghanistan mediated by inter-imperial visions of order, and the intellectual and cultural influences of a particular British frontier mentality"--
Number of Pages: 334
Genre: History, Political Science
Sub-Genre: History
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
Language: English
Street Date: May 31, 2016
TCIN: 51289512
UPC: 9781107118058
Item Number (DPCI): 248-18-8243
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