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Alibis of Empire:
Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism
Karuna Mantena

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Alibis of Empire is a sophisticated work of intellectual history. . . . [D]eep analysis of Maine's work is the heart of the book, and Mantena undertakes it with great skill and confidence."--Mark Doyle, Canadian Journal of History

"This will add much weight to current critiques of a resurgent imperialism, in America not least. The breadth of scholarship and depth of insight in her work is commendable."--Julia Stapleton, History of Political Thought


"In this unprecedented book, Karuna Mantena engages in a dialogue with the history of political thought, the history of nineteenth-century imperialism, and the genealogies of modern social theory. It will be widely influential."--Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

"Karuna Mantena provides the first comprehensive account of the centrality of Henry Maine in the transformation of British imperial ideology in the late nineteenth century. With great insight and erudition, Mantena elucidates the connections between Maine's sociotheoretic model of traditional society and the ideology and practice of British indirect rule."--Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University

"Alibis of Empire offers indispensable correctives to the standard intellectual histories of empire. It shifts the focus from political to social theory and concentrates attention on Henry Maine, a figure whose contribution to British imperial ideology was probably greater than that of any other thinker of his time. The book is written with economy and subtlety, and its argument is persuasive and important. It will be of great interest to a variety of readers, especially intellectual historians, historians of empire, and political theorists."--David Armitage, Harvard University

"This is an important contribution to scholarship on the British empire, one that provides new insights into debates about the changing nature of colonial discourse in nineteenth-century England, the relative strengths of social and political theory at the time and well into the twentieth century, the meaning of 'culture,' and the legacy of Henry Maine's writings for English colonial practice in India and beyond."--Barbara Arneil, University of British Columbia

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File created: 4/21/2017

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