Alternate Perspectives on the Anglosphere: South Africa, India and Ireland
Syracuse University - Department of Political Science
APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper
Rereading imperial history and theories of identity primarily from the perspective of South Africa challenges assumptions about sovereignty and power that inform shifting notions of an Anglophone or "Anglosphere" community. I demarcate three phases. The first part of the paper looks at the British Empire in the crucial decade between the Anglo-Boer War and WW1, when Britain discovered the limits of its naval-based defense and its self-governing colonies started to assert themselves. Then the interwar period witnessed extensive debates over greater Dominion autonomy, both within the nascent British Commonwealth and among the members of the newly-formed League of Nations. The results – including Irish independence but also India's abiding subordination – defined the edges of an Anglophone community that fused race and democracy. The third part of the paper looks at the shifting boundaries within this Anglosphere in the aftermath of WW2, when Britain and the Commonwealth wrestled with new population mobility and the challenges of multiculturalism. Apartheid certainly played a key role in South Africa becoming an outlier by 1960, but its abiding similarities with the Dominions challenge the putatively natural pairing of Australia and Canada that continues into the 21st century. The result is a bifurcated former empire: an alliance of formerly white democracies on the one hand and a community of post-colonial democracies that embrace non-discrimination and development on the other. The "core" states of the Anglosphere belong to both. Overall, Commonwealth history challenges static or unitary views of identity and reverses key causal arrows in the security community literature.
**** Thanks for your interest in this paper. I have removed it, however, because the final version is now available in published format. ****
Audie Klotz, "The Imperial Self: a perspective on Anglo-America from South Africa, India, and Ireland," in Anglo-America and Its Discontents: Civilizational identities beyond West and East, ed. Peter J. Katzenstein, pp. 81-104 (Routledge, 2012)
working papers series
Date posted: July 19, 2010 ; Last revised: August 14, 2012
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