Category Archives: General

Colonial exchanges: Political theory and the agency of the colonized (2017)

Burke A. Hendrix & Deborah Baumgold (Editors)

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Scholars of political thought have given a great deal of attention to the relationship between European political ideas and colonialism, especially to whether prominent thinkers supported or opposed colonialism. But little attention has so far been given to the reactions of those in the colonies to European ideas, where intellectuals actively sought to transform those ideas, deploying them strategically or adopting them as their own. A full reckoning of colonialism’s effects requires attention to their intellectual choices and the political efforts that accompanied them, which sometimes produced surprising political successes. The contributors to this volume include a mix of political theorists and intellectual historians who seek to grapple with specific thinkers or contexts. Contributors focus on colonised societies including India, Haiti, the Philippines, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and the settler countries of North America and Oceana, in times ranging from the French Revolution to the modern day.

Thinking with Rousseau: From Machiavelli to Schmitt (2017)

Helena Rosenblatt & Paul Schweigert (Editors)

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Although indisputably one of the most important thinkers in the Western intellectual tradition, Rousseau’s actual place within that tradition, and the legacy of his thought, remains hotly disputed. Thinking with Rousseau reconsiders his contribution to this tradition through a series of essays exploring the relationship between Rousseau and other ‘great thinkers’. Ranging from ‘Rousseau and Machiavelli’ to ‘Rousseau and Schmitt’, this volume focuses on the kind of intricate work that intellectuals do when they read each other and grapple with one another’s ideas. This approach is very helpful in explaining how old ideas are transformed and/or transmitted and new ones are generated. Rousseau himself was a master at appropriating the ideas of others, while simultaneously subverting them, and as the essays in this volume vividly demonstrate, the resulting ambivalences and paradoxes in his thought were creatively mined by others.