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Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State

Mongia, Radhika

978 0 8223 7039 0
List price(s):
94.95 USD
76.00 GBP

Publication date:
3 August 2018

Short description: 

Radhika Mongia outlines the colonial genealogy of the modern nation-state by tracing how the British Empire monopolized control over migration, showing how between its abolition of slavery in 1834 and World War One, the regulation of Indians moving throughout the Commonwealth linked migration with nationality and state sovereignty.

Full description: 

How did states come to monopolize control over migration? What do the processes that produced this monopoly tell us about the modern state? In Indian Migration and Empire Radhika Mongia provocatively argues that the formation of colonial migration regulations was dependent upon, accompanied by, and generative of profound changes in normative conceptions of the modern state. Focused on state regulation of colonial Indian migration between 1834 and 1917, Mongia illuminates the genesis of central techniques of migration control. She shows how important elements of current migration regimes, including the notion of state sovereignty as embodying the authority to control migration, the distinction between free and forced migration, the emergence of passports, the formation of migration bureaucracies, and the incorporation of kinship relations into migration logics, are the product of complex debates that attended colonial migrations. By charting how state control of migration was critical to the transformation of a world dominated by empire-states into a world dominated by nation-states, Mongia challenges positions that posit a stark distinction between the colonial state and the modern state to trace aspects of their entanglements.

Table of contents: 

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Migration of Free Labor: Contracting Freedom 2. Disciplinary Power and the Colonial State: The Bureaucracy of Migration Control 3. Gendered Nationalism, the Racialized State, and the Making of Migration Law: The Indian Marriage Question in South Africa 4. Race, Nationality, Mobility: A History of the Passport Epilogue. In History: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State Notes Bibliography Index


Radhika Mongia is Associate Professor of Sociology at York University.




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