John Stuart Mill on Savagery, Slavery and Civilization

22 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2011

See all articles by Pat Moloney

Pat Moloney

Victoria University of Wellington

Date Written: August 8, 2011


This paper explores the paradoxes of Mill’s defence of liberal imperialism. It does so by examining the stadial theory of societal development he inherited from Adam Smith and the contrast between savagery and civilization embedded within that theory. Particular attention is given to Mill’s theoretical and historical understanding of the institution of slavery and its place within his model of development.

Keywords: imperialism, liberalism

JEL Classification: B31

Suggested Citation

Moloney, Pat, John Stuart Mill on Savagery, Slavery and Civilization (August 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Pat Moloney (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics