© 2018

Imperial History and the Global Politics of Exclusion

Britain, 1880-1940

  • Presents a new and compelling interpretation of the the intellectual worlds and motives at the heart of the late British empire

  • Demonstrates precisely how racism served as the bulwark for imperial rule, as well as its undoing

  • Offers a new way of thinking about the relationship between ideas and action in British, Imperial, Anglo-American, and international history


Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Table of contents

About this book


Examining the rise of the field of imperial history in Britain and wider webs of advocacy, this book demonstrates how intellectuals and politicians promoted settler colonialism, excluded the subject empire, and laid a precarious framework for decolonization. History was politics in late-nineteenth-century Britain. But the means by which influential thinkers sought to steer democracy and state development also consigned vast populations to the margins of imperial debate and policy. From the 1880s onward, politicians, intellectuals, and journalists erected a school of thought based on exclusion and deferral that segregated past and future, backwardness and civilization, validating racial discrimination in empire all while disavowing racism. These efforts, however, engendered powerful anticolonial backlash and cast a long shadow over the closing decades of imperial rule. Bringing to life the forgotten struggles which have, in effect, defined our times, Imperial History and the Global Politics of Exclusion is an important reinterpretation of the intellectual history of the British Empire.


Britain Empire Race Racial Theory Political History Settler Colonialism Imperialism Commonwealth Decolonization

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of YorkYorkUSA

About the authors

Amanda Behm is Lecturer in British History at the University of York, UK. She has taught previously at Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Imperial History and the Global Politics of Exclusion
  • Book Subtitle Britain, 1880-1940
  • Authors Amanda Behm
  • Series Title Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-54602-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-71389-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-54850-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 282
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Imperialism and Colonialism
    World History, Global and Transnational History
    Political History
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