Lorenzo Veracini, "The World Turned Inside Out: Settler Colonialism As a Political Idea" (Verso, 2021)
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Many would rather change worlds than change the world. The settlement of communities in 'empty lands' somewhere else has often been proposed as a solution to growing contradictions. While the lands were never empty, sometimes these communities failed miserably, and sometimes they prospered and grew until they became entire countries.
Building on a growing body of transnational and interdisciplinary research on the political imaginaries of settler colonialism as a specific mode of domination, Lorenzo Veracini's The World Turned Inside Out: Settler Colonialism As a Political Idea (Verso, 2021) uncovers and critiques an autonomous, influential, and coherent political tradition - a tradition still relevant today. It follows the ideas and the projects (and the failures) of those who left or planned to leave growing and chaotic cities and challenging and confusing new economic circumstances, those who wanted to protect endangered nationalities, and those who intended to pre-empt forthcoming revolutions of all sorts, including civil and social wars. They displaced, and moved to other islands and continents, beyond the settled regions, to rural districts and to secluded suburbs, to communes and intentional communities, and to cyberspace. This book outlines the global history of a resilient political idea: to seek change somewhere else as an alternative to embracing (or resisting) transformation where one is.
Lorenzo Veracini teaches history and politics at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. He has authored Israel and Settler Society, Settler Colonialism, The Settler Colonial Present (2015), and co-edited The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism. He is Founding Editor of Settler Colonial Studies
Thomas Kingston is currently a Huayu Enrichment Scholar, studying Mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan University, as he finds himself in post MPhil and pre PhD limbo. He holds an MA in Pacific Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London and an MPhil in Philosophy from Renmin University of China. His research interests focus on the political and intellectual histories of nationalism(s), imaginaries and colonialism in the East and Southeast Asian context.
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