Empire, Humanitarianism and Violence in the Colonies

Penelope Edmonds, Anna Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is now a burgeoning scholarship at the intersection of new imperialism and the history of humanitarianism. Scholars have not only pointed to the continuing need to historicise humanitarian developments, but, importantly, argued for more consideration of humanitarian developments outside of Europe and the “Third World.”1 As Alan Lester and Fae Dussart have recently argued, we must reassess entrenched understandings of the development of humanitarianism as originating from an “anti-slavery mother” and “European battlefield father,” especially in the “light of trans-imperial governmental experiments in violently colonised settler colonial spaces.”2 The diverse forms of imperial humanitarian history, and their entanglements with violence in colonised regions such as Australia, New Zealand, North America, India and the Pacific, demand attention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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