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The concepts of economic backwardness, Asiatic despotism and orientalism have strongly influenced perceptions of modernization, democracy and economic growth over the last three centuries. This book provides an original view of Russian and Asian history that views both in a global perspective. Via this analysis, Alessandro Stanziani opens new dimensions in the study of state formation, the global slave trade, warfare and European and Asian growth. After Oriental Despotism questions conventional oppositions between Europe and Asia. By revisiting the history of Eurasia in this context, the book offers a serious challenge to existing ideas about the aims and goals of economic growth.
China and Taiwan have similar political cultures. However, Chinese intellectual and political elite have failed to democratize the Middle Kingdom since the 4 May 1919 Movement: whilst their Taiwanese counterpart succeeded in making the island state fairly democratic in just over four decades since the 28 February 1947 Uprising. After an examination of the approaches they applied, the author finds that the former have pursued a culturalist road by trying to change the psycho-cultural make-up of the Chinese people: whilst the latter followed an institutionalist one in which they tried to win elections and to set up political organizations, such as parties.
Through an historical analysis of the theme of Oriental despotism, Michael Curtis reveals the complex positive and negative interaction between Europe and the Orient. The book also criticizes the misconception that the Orient was the constant victim of Western imperialism and the view that Westerners cannot comment objectively on Eastern and Muslim societies. The book views the European concept of Oriental despotism as based not on arbitrary prejudicial observation, but rather on perceptions of real processes and behavior in Eastern systems of government. Curtis considers how the concept developed and was expressed in the context of Western political thought and intellectual history, and of the changing realities in the Middle East and India. The book includes discussion of the observations of Western travelers in Muslim countries and analysis of the reflections of six major thinkers: Montesquieu, Edmund Burke, Tocqueville, James and John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Max Weber.
The present work Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient Indian discusses different views on the origin and nature of the state in ancient India. It also deals with stages and processes of state formation and examines the relevance of caste and kin-based collectivities to the construction of polity. The Vedic assemblies are studied in some detail, and developments in political organisation are presented in relation to their changing social and economic background. The book also shows how religion and rituals were brought in the service of the ruling class.
In his 1850 article "Prostitution," W. R. Greg asserts that nineteenth-century society conceived of prostitutes as "far more out of the pale of humanity than negroes on a slave plantation or fellahs in a Pasha's dungeon." Elsie B. Michie here provides insightful readings of novels by Mary Shelley, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot, writers who confronted definitions of femininity which denied them full participation in literary culture. Exploring a series of abhorrent images - Frankenstein's monster, a simianized caricature of the Irish, the menstruating woman alluded to in debates on access to higher education, and the fallen woman - Michie traces the links between the Victorian definition of femininity and other forms of cultural exclusion such as race and class distinctions. Michie considers a range of fiction written in the period 1818-1870, paying particular attention to changes in the construction of gender which coincided with changing attitudes toward colonial and class relations. Drawing on the work of such theorists as Teresa de Lauretis, Catherine Gallagher, Mary Poovey, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi Bhabha, she maps out connections between two excluded territories, one defined by gender and the other by class, race, and economics. Michie transforms our understanding of familiar novels including Wuthering Heights and Middlemarch in which the two themes are articulated together, as she illuminates political, economic, and social issues connected to models of difference. Literary theorists, feminist scholars, Victorianists, and others interested in cultural studies and the history of the novel will welcome this perceptive and engaging book.
Marxism: The Inner Dialogues covers a wide range of basic issues and problems arising from what has been said for, against, and about Marxism. This is a rich and systematic collection of writings by the foremost authorities on the subject in the world. The book provides the most inclusive and lasting analysis of Marxist thought available. Curtis has confronted current problems in Marxist studies in the context of the classic concerns of Western thought.
Argues that totalitarian rule arose in the Orient because of the need to control water, and that communism is an extension of this highly managerial form of government
This wide-ranging collection of articles, first published in 1981, documents the development of the intellectual and political aspects of the concept of the Asiatic Mode of Production – a concept central to the Western understanding of non-capitalist societies.
The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire: The oriental despotism and the problem of the decay of ancient civilization
Wherever possible in this monograph I have referred to English trans lations of works originally appearing in other languages. Where this has not been possible, for example with Russian material, I have followed the Library of Congress system of transliteration, but omitted the diacritics. I have also retained the conventional use of 'y' for the ending of certain Russian proper names (e.g., Trotsky not Trotskii). In accordance with the policy of using existing English translations, I have referred to the Martin Nicolaus translation of Marx's Grundrisse, which is relatively faithful to the text. (The Grundrisse, although the Dead Sea Scroll of Marxism, bear all the characteristics of a rough draft, characteristics which are preserved in the Nicolaus translation.) The term 'Marxian' has been employed in the conventional way in this book, to distinguish the views of Marx and Engels from those of their 'Marxist' followers. In preparing this work I have received bibliographical assistance from Professor Israel Getzler, now of the Hebrew University, and critical assistance from Mr Bruce McFarlane of the University of Adelaide and especially from Professor Eugene Kamenka of the Aus tralian National University. Professor Jean Chesneaux of the Sorbonne, as one of the leading participants in the more recent debates discussed here, provided me with some further insight into the issues, and Pro fessor K.A. Wittfogel of Columbia also supplied some valuable in formation.
In her graceful account of the transformation of European attitudes toward the Ottoman empire during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Lucette Valensi follows the genealogy of the concept of Oriental despotism. The Birth of the Despot examines a crucial moment in the long and ambiguous encounter between the Christian and Islamic worlds: the period after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks, when Venice's pursuit of its commercial and maritime interests brought two powerful protagonists—Venice and the Sublime Porte—face-to-face.Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha Triumphans, in which Judith liberates her besieged town by killing the Turk Holofernes, serves as the organizing metaphor in Valensi's study of how Venice's perceptions of its rival changed. Valensi shows how Venice's initial admiration for the sultan and his orderly empire metamorphosed into revulsion at a monstrous tyrant.
An engaging critique of Western misconceptions about the mysterious East. Edward Said's Orientalism has been much praised for its account of Western perceptions of the Orient. But the English-speaking world has for too long been unaware of another classic in the same field which appeared in France only a year later. Alain Grosrichard's The Sultan's Court is a fascinating survey of Western accounts of "Oriental despotism" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It focuses particularly on portrayals of the Ottoman Empire and the supposedly enigmatic structure of the despot's court -- the seraglio -- with its viziers, janissaries, mutes, dwarfs, eunuchs and countless wives.. Drawing on the writing of Montesquieu, Rousseau and Voltaire, Grosrichard examines their intense fascination with the seraglio He describes the way in which they constructed a fantasized Other in contrast to their own projections of a rational society. The Sultan's Court explores the nature of these fantasies and what they reveal about the foundations of modern political thought.
A fresh and stimulating examination of the ideology, programmes, expressions and consequences of the British 'civilizing mission' in South Asia.