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Title: The politics of travel and exploration: with specific reference to Eastern or Chinese Turkestan, 1865-1908
Author: Hodges , Clive Philip
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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As Russian territorial acquisitions in central Asia posed an ever-increasing threat to India and British strategies to meet this threat vacillated, it was the activities of a small number of adventurers which upheld British interests beyond the frontier and provided intelligence to the authorities. This thesis uniquely considers the Great Game with exploration and travel at its core in order to reveal the significance of such activity in the formation of policy and strategy. It also uncovers the intricate bureaucratic procedures which governed adventurous expeditions and identifies the conceptual frameworks which underpinned these mechanisms. It adds a new perspective to the hi storiography of the Great Game and contributes to the growing interest in the study of travel both in the context of empire and of international relations. A collective consciousness existed in Victorian Britain that exploration and adventurous travel were noble pursuits. This was sustained in the public psyche through the Press and in popular culture. Among the privileged classes, this ethos was nurtured through the public schools and upheld by the elite universities, scienti fic bodies such as the Royal Geographical Society, gentlemen's clubs and in public service both at home and abroad. Across the British Empire, most notably in Africa, exploration was a key constituent of British imperial expansion: in Eastern (or Chinese) Turkestan it provided information useful to the security of existing imperial possessions. All Travel to the region, whether motivated by intelligence gathering, commerce, science or sport, inevitably entailed political implications due to the region's sensitivity. Study of official and private correspondence, learned articles and popular accounts reveals that travel to central Asia was governed by a complex network of government departments, their agencies overseas and by organisations on the fringes of government with commercial or scientific interests. Conflicting interests between these bodies and the individuals who staffed them ensured that procedures for sanctioning travel to the region were seldom straightforward and that opinions concerning its value varied greatly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available