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Ince, Onur Ulas (2023) 'From 'Chinese Colonist' to 'Yellow Peril': Capitalist Racialization in the British Empire.' American Political Science Review. pp. 1-38. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

The literature on “racial capitalism” exhibits a tension between the term’s evocative power and its conceptual imprecision. This article navigates this tension by developing the mid-level concept of “capitalist racialization,” which specifies the role of capitalist abstractions in the construction of racial hierarchies. I elaborate this notion around the racialization of Chinese migration in nineteenth-century Southeast Asia. I focalize the figure of the “Chinese colonist” as an index of the capitalist standards by which British observers ordered colonial populations in their reflections on imperial political economy. I argue that the racial stereotype of “the Chinese” as commercial, industrious, and “colonizing” people emerged from the subsumption of colonial land and labor under capital. Their “colonizing” capacity rendered Chinese migrants simultaneously an economic asset to the British Empire and a potential threat to the white world order. “Capitalist racialization” therefore highlights new inroads into the entwined histories of capitalism, racism, and empire.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 00030554
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055423001260
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2023 13:09
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40759

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