Barbed-wire imperialism: Britain's empire of camps, 1876-1903

TitleBarbed-wire imperialism: Britain's empire of camps, 1876-1903
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsForth, Aidan
Number of Pages352
PublisherUniversity of California Press
CityOakland, California

Some of the world's first refugee camps and concentration camps appeared in the British Empire in the late 19th century.  More than the outcomes of military counterinsurgency, Boer War camps were registers of cultural discourses about civilization, class, gender, racial purity and sanitary pollution. In order to curb mortality and introduce order, the British government mobilized a wide variety of disciplinary and sanitary lessons assembled at Indian plague and famine camps and at other kindred institutions like metropolitan workhouses. Ultimately, improvements to inmates' health and well-being served to legitimize camps as technologies of liberal empire and biopolitical security.

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