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Title: The grand machinery of the world : race, global order and the black Atlantic
Author: Younis, Musab
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 1947
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the ways in which the interwar global order came to be theorised by African writers, and those of African descent, in specific territories bordering the Atlantic. It asks how those views can inform a richer understanding of the construction of our contemporary world. In particular, it seeks to understand the centrality of race to the imperial order and to many of the oppositional projects that emerged in relation to the order. A global order perspective can, it is argued, help to explain the salience of race to the interwar world as well as its enduring power beyond that period. Using as its primary sources the vibrant black print cultures and circuits of the interwar period, the thesis examines the close concomitance of national and transnational thinking during the 'Belle Époque'; the global vision of Marcus Garvey's black nationalism in the United States; the emergence of critical theorisations of colonialism across British-controlled West Africa; the languages of race and whiteness in interwar France, from the black press of Paris to the early texts of Négritude; and the role played by Haiti, Liberia, and Ethiopia - the only independent states of the period governed by Africans or African-descended people - as instantiations of the racialised nature of interwar sovereignty, targets of both imperial designs and anticolonial activism. Interrogating the conceptual boundaries between race, nationalism, and pan-nationalism, the thesis suggests that such affinities are best understood not as abstractly-definable and opposing doctrines, but as political projects that have emerged historically in relation to global order as a whole and out of specifically enabling material conditions. As well as assessing diverse bodies of writing in terms of their contribution to international theory, the thesis explores how changes in material conditions and imperial infrastructures - particularly the spread of newspapers - facilitated a range of counter-readings of dominant discourses, imaginative acts of traversal, and other practices of oppositional power, whose consequences reach far beyond the interwar period.
Supervisor: Hurrell, Andrew Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International relations ; Africa ; Race ; Nationalism ; Postcolonialism ; Internationalism