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Networks of Empire
Forced Migration in the Dutch East India Company

$108.00 (C)

Part of Studies in Comparative World History

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521885867

$ 108.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Ward argues that the Dutch East India Company empire manifested itself through multiple networks that amalgamated spatially and over time into an imperial web whose sovereignty was effectively created and maintained but always partial and contingent. Networks of Empire proposes that early modern empires were comprised of durable networks of trade, administration, settlement, legality, and migration whose regional circuits and territorially and institutionally based nodes of regulatory power operated not only on land and sea but discursively as well. Rights of sovereignty were granted to the Company by the States General in the United Provinces. Company directors in Europe administered the exercise of sovereignty by Company servants in its chartered domain. The empire developed in dynamic response to challenges waged by individuals and other sovereign entities operating within the Indian Ocean grid. By closely examining the Dutch East India Company's network of forced migration this book explains how empires are constituted through the creation, management, contestation, devolution and reconstruction of these multiple and intersecting fields of partial sovereignty.

    • A new approach to Dutch imperialism in the history of the Indian Ocean
    • Examines forced migration as a spectrum of bondage including slavery, penal transportation, and political exile within one realm
    • Examines indigenous networks in the Indian ocean, arguing that the Dutch East India Company's network facilitated the spread of Islam
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This is a work of great significance in the field of global history. It links the various societies on the shores of the Indian Ocean, notably Java and South Africa, with a clear grasp of a whole variety of histories and their sources. The result is a work which is enviably erudite. It is also intelligent, engaging and well-organised. A really fine book.” -Robert Ross, Leiden University

    “Kerry Ward’s masterly analysis of seventeenth and eighteenth century networks within the Indian Ocean web of empire is an important contribution, not only to the histories of South Africa and Indonesia, but to the historiography of empires in general and to World History as a field of study.” -Christopher Saunders, University of Cape Town

    "This is an exceedingly well-documented study; the Indian Ocean will never feel the same again after reading Kerry Ward's fascinating volume. She shows how coercion and forced passage in the middle latitudes of this ocean were just as much a part of its history as the better-documented, littoral crossings to the north. This is a truly important new book." -Eric Tagliacozzo, Cornell University

    "Kerry Ward's Networks of Empire is an important contribution to the study of the dynamics of early modern European empires in Asia." -Ghulam A. Nadri, Journal of World History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521885867
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Networks of empire and the imperial diaspora
    2. The company's imperial legal realm and forced migration
    3. Crime and punishment in mid-eighteenth century Batavia
    4. The Cape cauldron: tales of a trans-oceanic past
    5. Cross-circuits in the Indian Ocean: the VOC and Dar al Islam
    6. Social webs at the Cape of Good Hope
    7. Disintegrating imperial networks.

  • Author

    Kerry Ward, Rice University, Houston

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