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Outcasts of Empire unveils the causes and consequences of capitalism’s failure to “batter down all Chinese walls” in modern Taiwan. Adopting micro- and macrohistorical perspectives, Paul D. Barclay argues that the interpreters, chiefs, and trading-post operators who mediated state-society relations on Taiwan’s “savage border” during successive Qing and Japanese regimes rose to prominence and faded to obscurity in concert with a series of “long nineteenth century” global transformations.
Superior firepower and large economic reserves ultimately enabled Japanese statesmen to discard mediators on the border and sideline a cohort of indigenous headmen who played both sides of the fence to maintain their chiefly status. Even with reluctant “allies” marginalized, however, the colonial state lacked sufficient resources to integrate Taiwan’s indigenes into its disciplinary apparatus. The colonial state therefore created the Indigenous Territory, which exists to this day as a legacy of Japanese imperialism, local initiatives, and the global commodification of culture.
About the Author
Paul D. Barclay is Professor of History at Lafayette College. He is also general editor of the East Asia Image Collection, an open-access online digital repository of historical materials.
"Outcasts of Empire . . . challenges the limits of the international system and state sovereignty, explores interlocking forces of colonialism, historical processes of indigenisation, colonial boundaries, and governance through a detailed narrative history of outcasts at the empire-dynasty’s periphery. . . . It’s a must-read for readers who want to familiarise themselves with contemporary history and indigenous peoples in the Taiwanese context." — International Journal of Taiwan Studies
"The book is a highly recommended reading not only for researchers in East Asian studies but also scholars with a special interest in interdisciplinary research." — China Journal
"Outcasts of Empire has inaugurated a most welcome turn to theoretically informed indigenous studies. . . . [and] lays the ground for sophisticated work in and beyond East Asian studies." — Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies