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Tomlinson, Tom (2006) 'Niju Seiki Minami Ajia ni okeru Teikoku to Hegemon. [Empire and Hegemon in Twentieth-Century South Asia].' In: Shoichi, W., (ed.), Teikoku no Shuen to Amerika: Ajia Kokusai Chitsujo no Saihen [The End of Empires and the United States of America: The Reconstruction of the International Order in Asia]. Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, pp. 22-45.

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This essay is based on the text of a keynote address to the annual conference of the Japanese Association of Occidental Historians at Sendai in 2003. This address introduced the core session of the conference – on the transition from European empire to American hegemony in South and South-East Asia in the middle decades of the twentieth century. The article argues that India achieved a substantial measure of independence from both Britain and the United States after 1947. This was partly because she was not part of any Cold War conflict; but, more importantly, it was because the Indian nationalist movement had managed to establish a strong sense of national identity and self-interest, and an effective set of governance institutions. Imperialism exercised hegemony over colonial subjects through military force, ideologies that denied local national identity, and by imposing structures of administration that excluded local influence or that privileged external interests over internal ones. In parts of Asia these mechanisms remained in place after independence. But in India, by contrast, the hegemonic tools of empire had been blunted well before 1947, and these were not effective thereafter. Thus the political, ideological and administrative competence and strength of post-independence regimes is a vital variable in assessing the extent of hegemonic control that could be exercised by the super-powers in Asian countries after the end of formal imperial rule.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISBN: 9784634640191
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2008 11:30

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