Project: Exception and emergency: British imperial governance in Asian frontier tracts
This historical project studies an economically and politically key region in Asia under the pressures of global empires, when the foundation for the latter nation-states took shape. It integrates the analyses of imperial frontier tracts, caused by British, Burmese and Qing Chinese expansions.
Although British rule was formed up to China’s borders in the late nineteenth century, certain territories remained labelled “frontier areas”. They were under a provisional mode of governance, long after military encounters had ceased. The “exceptional” turned into a practice. The project combines environmental and legal history, and crosses the Area Studies boundaries of South, Southeast and East Asia.
Project manager Professor Gunnel Cederlöf Participating organizations Linnaeus University, Cambridge University (affiliation 2022-23) Financier Riksbankens jubileumsfond, RJ Sabbatical Timetable 1 Jan 2022–31 Dec 2023 Subject History (department of Cultural Sciences, faculty of Arts and Humanities)
More about the project
There were simultaneously moving imperial frontiers of conquest, and a practice of the small polities turning into permanent frontier tracts under administrative exceptions. The project aims at establishing the British imperial pragmatic and provisional mode of operation, which depended on circumstance and place rather than on imperial principles or legal statutes.
The project combines and synthesises the results of two major research projects and contributes the necessary revision of imperial history by integrating the Northeast India-to-Yunnan region for the purpose of investigating governance under exceptional conditions. This is a spatial revision of the analytical field since it crosses the dominant Area Studies separations of South, Southeast and East Asia.
Sir Charles Arbuthnot and staff, Mandalay 1887. Photographic Illustrations, with Description of Mandalay & Upper Burmah, Expeditionary Force, 1886-87. Birmingham: A. Pumphrey. 1887. Maps: H. Yule, 1857 and courtsey Sterling Library, New Haven.