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  • Introduction: Empires and Indigenous Peoples, Global Transformation and the Limits of International Society

    Paul D. Barclay

    Chapter from the book: Barclay, P. 2017. Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945.


    Anthropologists and sociologists have considered the decades following 1960 the incubation period for the global indigenism movement. They argue that indigenism rests upon on an infrastructure of interstate coordination anchored in U.N. human rights conventions, trans-regional NGO activity, and democratically sanctioned political protest. This chapter explains how such seemingly disparate formations—a supra-state and stateless peoples—coproduced each other. It demonstrates that nationality, internationalism, and indigenism were mutually constituted formations rather than sequentially occurring phenomena. Using colonial Taiwan as a case study, it examines the politics, economics, and cultural movements that informed the Japanese state's creation of an "Aborigine Territory." This ethnically based administrative unit began as an expedient measure in the 1890s. By the 1930s, however, Taiwan Indigenous Peoples were cast permanently beyond the bounds of the colonial state's disciplinary apparatus. In a more positive sense, their distinctiveness was promoted by the state, the tourism industry, and intellectuals, laying the groundwork for the successor Nationalist Party government of Taiwan to rule the island as an ethnically bifurcated political field.

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    Barclay, P. 2017. Introduction: Empires and Indigenous Peoples, Global Transformation and the Limits of International Society. In: Barclay, P, Outcasts of Empire. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.41.a

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    Published on Oct. 24, 2017