Empires of Remorse: Narrative, postcolonialism and apologies for colonial atrocity

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Until deep into the 20th century, empire remained a source of pride for European states and their politicians. The 21st century, however, has seen the unexpected emergence of certain European states apologising to their former colonies.
Analysing apologies from Germany, Belgium, Britain and Italy, this book explores the shifting ways in which these countries represent their colonial pasts and investigates what this reveals about contemporary international politics, particularly relations between (former) coloniser and colonised. It is argued that, far from renouncing colonialism in its entirety, the apologies are replete with discourses that are reminiscent of the core legitimising tenets of empire. Specifically, the book traces how the apologies both illuminate and recycle many of the inequalities, mind-sets and ambivalences that circulated at the height of empire.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages185
ISBN (Electronic)9781315746722
ISBN (Print)1138815381, 978-1138815384
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2015


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