Critical Perspectives on Empire: The Imperial Security State: British Colonial Knowledge and Empire-Building in Asia

Critical Perspectives on Empire: The Imperial Security State: British Colonial Knowledge and Empire-Building in Asia

By: James L. Hevia (author)Paperback

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The Imperial Security State explores an important but under-explored dimension of British imperialism - its information system and the close links between military knowledge and the maintenance of empire. James Hevia's innovative study focuses on route books and military reports produced by the British Indian Army military intelligence between 1880 and 1940. He shows that together these formed a renewable and authoritative archive that was used to train intelligence officers, to inform civilian policy makers and to provide vital information to commanders as they approached the battlefield. The strategic, geographical, political and ethnographical knowledge that was gathered not only framed imperial strategies towards colonized areas to the east but also produced the very object of intervention: Asia itself. Finally, the book addresses the long-term impact of the security regime, revealing how elements of British colonial knowledge have continued to influence contemporary tactics of counterinsurgency in twenty-first-century Iraq and Afghanistan.

About Author

James Hevia is Professor of International History at the University of Chicago. His research interests have centred on European imperialism in Asia from the late eighteenth century onwards, and his previous publications include English Lessons: The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century China (2003).


1. Introduction; 2. The military revolution of the nineteenth century; 3. Imperial state formation, the professionalization of the army, and the making of experts; 4. Forming intelligence, making an archive; 5. Disciplining the space of Asia: triangulation and route books; 6. Regulating the facts of Asia: military reports and handbooks; 7. The uses of intelligence; 8. The effects of the imperial security regime in Asia and Great Britain; 9. Imperial security and the transformation of Asia; Bibliography.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107519572
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 314
  • ID: 9781107519572
  • weight: 420
  • ISBN10: 1107519578

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