Liberalism and the British Empire in Southeast Asia  book cover
1st Edition

Liberalism and the British Empire in Southeast Asia

ISBN 9780367586416
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

This collection of essays collects the leading scholars on British colonial thought in Southeast Asia to consider the question: what was the relationship between liberalism and the British Empire in Southeast Asia? The empire builders in Southeast Asia: Lord Minto, William Farquhar, John Leyden, Thomas Stamford Raffles, and John Crawfurd - to name a few - were fervent believers in a liberal free trade order in Southeast Asia.

Many recent studies of British imperialism, and European imperialism more generally, have addressed how the anti-imperialist tradition of Eighteenth century liberalism was increasingly intertwined with the discourses of empire, freedom, race and economics in the nineteenth century. This collection extends those studies to look at the impact of liberalism on.  British colonialism in Southeast Asia and early nineteenth century Southeast Asia we see some of the first attempts at developing multicultural democracies within the colonies, experiments in free trade and attempts to use free trade to prevent war and colonisation.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Mapping Liberalism and Empire in Southeast Asia

Gareth Knapman and Mary Quilty

Chapter 2 – Before Liberalism: William Marsden’s Late Enlightenment Imperial Critique

Diana J. Carroll

Chapter 3 – Pragmatism at Play: Farquhar, Raffles and the Founding of Singapore

Nadia Wright

Chapter 4 – The Ideological Origins of the Founding of Singapore

Tze Shiung Ng

Chapter 5 – Potato and Rice-eaters: Labour, Wages and Racial Anxiety in Classical Political Economy and British Colonial Administrators in Southeast Asia

Mary Quilty

Chapter 6 – The Gaze of a Liberal Imperialist: Observing and Interpreting Oriental Despotism in John Crawfurd’s work

Martin Müller

Chapter 7 – John Crawfurd’s 1829 Pamphlet on Free Trade and Colonisation and his Liberal Campaign for British Imperial Reforms in India and Southeast Asia

Wilbert Wong

Chapter 8 – Protector of aborigines or War Criminal: Two Opposing Liberal Views of James Brooke

Gareth Knapman and Martin Müller

Chapter 9 – The Liberal Security Experiment in Southeast Asia

Gareth Knapman

Chapter 10 – The Liberalism Narrative in Southeast Asia, and Australia

Anthony Milner

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Dr Gareth Knapman Is a researcher with the Australian National University specialising in nineteenth century Southeast Asia and Australia. His recent book, Race and British Colonialism in Southeast Asia, 1770-1870: John Crawfurd and the politics of equality was reviewed as ‘a serious contribution to the history and the historiography of empire and Southeast Asia, offering new data and new insights. Knapman studies nineteenth-century British colonialism as it looked from the perspective of the contemporary colonialists – at a time when British supremacy was still in doubt (early in the century) or only just being confirmed (in the middle of the century).

Anthony Milner is Visiting Professor at the University of Malaya, Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He is an Australian historian of Southeast Asia, concerned with the history of ideas. His writings on Malay history and society include Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule (1982, 2016), The Invention of Politics: Expanding the Public Sphere in Colonial Malaya (1995, 2002), and The Malays (2008, 2011). Milner has also written on Australia-Asia relations.

Dr Mary Quilty has written widely on British colonial thought in Southeast Asia. Her pioneering book Textual Empires, published in 1995, scoped much of the subsequent research into British colonial thought in Southeast Asia. Her PhD explored in depth the influence and adaptation of early economic thought in British colonies in Southeast Asia. Quilty co-authored and co-edited with Anthony Milner a three volume series, published by Oxford University Press, on Australia’s attitudes to different Asian countries and their attitudes to Australia. These three volumes, comparing Asian and Australian attitudes to a range of issues from labour relations to defence to government, were published between 1996 and 1998. The volume in which Quilty co-authored several chapters, Australia in Asia. Comparing Cultures, has been republished several times. Quilty also contributed chapters on social and cultural engagement to Facing North: A Century of Australian Engagement with Asia published by Melbourne University Press in 2003.