Resistance to colonialism and construction of the national

Luis Alfredo De la Peña Jiménez,

Central European University in Budapest, Hungary 


An early wave of decolonization: the independence processes in Latin America and the Balkans from a comparative perspective


When talking about processes of decolonization and the creation of modern states in territories that were once administrative entities of empires, the case of South America or the Balkans and in general the processes of independence in the nineteenth century would not be the first examples that would come to  mind. While dealing with postcolonial entities it’s usual to think of the struggles that unleashed the independence of nations that were victims of European imperialism in Asia and Africa during the 19th and 20th centuries, because to a certain extent the postcolonial term is focused on these historical experiences.
But during the period from Waterloo to the revolutions of 1848 practically one-sixth of the planet was no longer dominated by an imperial metropolis, and these territories started to shape themselves to some extent as independent nations,especially  those that had emerged in the sixteenth century and whose decline began in the nineteenth century, such as the Spanish Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Beginning with the undervalued Haitian revolution, this flame of the revolution would spread throughout Spanish America and through the Balkans and the Levant.
Reviewing the literature on this subject,  it’s evident that there are the periodization problems that have generated a gap in the literature and the understanding of the period. In particular, the nationalist and autarkic cut that within the genre of patriotic histories has not generated a global comparison of the independences. This paper intends to rethink and resize the processes of decolonization in the first half of the nineteenth century, discover the characteristics that interweave them, as well as the differences that separate them, with the objective of elaborating prospects for the comparison of these historical experiences and placing them within a broader and more coherent global perspective.

Key words: Revolution, Independence, Ottoman Empire, Spanish Empire, Latin America, Balkans, Nineteenth Century.



Aleksandr Liozin, Samara State Academy of Social Sciences and Academy


The ethnic factor in  emergencies  in Malaya (1948-1960) in the reports of RAND  (Neocolonial approach to the colonial issue?)


The paper discusses the ethnic factor in Malaya against the background of a state of emergency (1948-1960)  introduced by the British. Malaya was a British colony in 1948 when a Communist uprising started there. Malay campaign conducted by the British was a Prime example of the success of anti rebellion policy. The ethnic factor in the conflict was  pivotal. The population of Malaya consisted of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Europeans (British). The Communist movement emerged in the Chinese minority. The Chinese minority perceived Marxism as the factor  which would be instrumental in solving their problems. There was practically no support for the Communists from the Malays and Indians. The paper will analyse technique and tactics in the British army from the perspective of the ethnic factor . It will also analyse  what specific problems the UK  faced during the state of emergency. The report is based on analytical works by  the employees of the American Corporation "RAND", who worked for the U.S. government. The increased interest in this conflict on the part of the US government  can be attributed to the Vietnam conflict,  in which the United States had to take an active part in the context of the Cold war. It is noteworthy that after the collapse of the colonial system, the confrontation over "third world" the countries  between the USA and the USSR began. The heritage and experience of the UK was analyzed in the United States, thanks to REND, and manifested  a neo-colonial approach. It can be argued that a state of emergency in Malaya was a training manual  for the US, which was an attempt to prepare for the Vietnam issue.


Key words: Corporation "RAND"; Great Britain; USA; British; guerrilla warfare; counterinsurgency war; decolonization; state of emergency; the Chinese; the Malays; the neo-colonial approach; the colonial experience; the Communist party of Malaya; the "Cold war", the rebels.



Aleksandr Arbekov, Orel State University 


The resistance of South-African tribes to the British expansion — the case of Anglo-Zulu war (1879)


This article examines the process of resistance to British colonization in South Africa by local tribes as  examplified of the Anglo-Zulu War (1879). The causes, assumptions, the course and results of the war are studied, as well as an assessment of Britain's colonial policy in the designated region, which caused this military conflict. The paper analyzes the actions taken by the Zulu to fight British expansion and their result on the basis of periodicals, notes of contemporaries, journalistic reports and ethnographic materials.

Key words: Anglo-Zulu War, foreign policy, colonial wars Victorian England, British Empire, Zululand, South Africa.



Natalja Moskaleva, Saint Petersburg State University


Constructing Tibetan History: a Case Study of The Tibet Mirror (1949-1963)


Tibet has never been a colony, but at various times of its history it  has experienced strong currents of influence from other political powers. China and India surely take the first place in the influence extent, however, one should not forget those periods when Mongols, British, Americans and even Russians played a certain role on the Tibetan political arena.

Despite the highly polemical narrative of Tibetan history, there were times when Tibet was clearly independent and there were also slightly more contested times when Tibet was a vassal state of the Qing Empire or got officially incorporated into the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1951.  However, even when  Tibet became part of China, just a few years later in 1959, a Tibetan government in exile was established in India and extensive Tibetan exile communities spread around the world, to say nothing of the multifarious Western pro-Tibetan nongovernmental organizations. This paper aims to discuss how “the Tibetan card” has been played by the world superpowers throughout modern Tibetan history and how the Tibetan history discourse was first shaped in the Tibetan media.

The Tibet Mirror is one of the earliest newspapers in the Tibetan language, perhaps, the first newspaper of the kind issued by an editor of Tibetan origin. However, the editor himself was based in Kalimpong, India and, since The Tibet Mirror was issued from 1925 to 1963,  he  and the newspaper witnessed both the colonial period of Indian history and the time when India gained independence. The editor’s collaborative relationships with British and Indian authorities and his consistent support of Tibet’s independence apparently could not  but  affected newspaper publications. The Tibet Mirror materials on Tibet in the 1950s shaped a particular anti-Communist discourse that constructed an alternative version of Tibetan history and Tibetan identity.


Key words: Tibet, China, India, Britain, Tibetan history, anti-Communist discourse.



Aleksandra Bocharnikova, Saint Petersburg Scientific Research Centre for Ecological Safety, Russian Academy of Science


National parks of Canada and native population: from resistance to agreements 


Most national parks of Canada are situated not far from the territories of the the indigenous peoples of Canada – Indians, Inuit and Metis. There is system of co-management in Canada which is based on the agreements between the Government of Canada and concrete communities of Indians and Inuit. However, it required a long time to have achieved it. .The first national park in Canada Banff was founded in 1885 after the discovery of  the hot springs by Englishmen. The Stoney (Assiniboine) First Nations had to  be removed from their settlements from the province Alberta.  7 new protected areas were created soon and indigenous peoples had to break the borders of the national parks hunting and fishing illegally.

Gwaii Haanas National park reserve is Haida heritage site of UNESCO, located at the Queen Charlotte Islands.  Aboriginal population is the tribe of First Nations – Haida, whose number was 30000 before colonization. Canadian policy included Christianization and education of the children of the indigenous peoples in the residential schools. The colonists brought Western deceases to the communities of the tribes who did not have immunity to them. Only 2500-3000 Haida peoples left in the islands. Local communities proposed to create the protected area because of intensive logging led by Japanese companies. When the Government of Canada organized National park, they convinced elders who  traditionally lived on the territories to leave their lands. Sanctions included  jail and penalty. The leader of Haida people told that he was very old and was ready to come to jail but they were anxious about their children and children of the new-settlers where and how they would live if all the forest was cut. Eventually, the Haida peoples stayed in the reserve. Now the Government of Canada represented by the Minister of the Environment made an agreement with the community of Haida to comprise the Council of the Archipelago  of two members of Haida and two members of the Administration of the National Park.


Key words: national parks, reserves, indigenous community, colonization, co-management National parks of Canada: from resistance to agreements.



Anastasia Tropnikova, Saint Petersburg State University 


Failed nation-building in postcolonial Kenya or the case of ethnicity in politics


The roots of Kenyan modern political crisis go back to the post-independence ethnic rivalry for political power and consequent “ethnicization” of politics. Despite declared goals of building the united nation of Kenyans and putting an end to ethnic divide political elites do not fail to use the ‘traditional’ way of power struggle: they appeal to fellow ‘tribesmen’, which is the only reliable source of support that decides the outcome of political battles. The reasons that led to this status-quo stem in state’s national policy which, for example, had absolutely polar results in neighboring Tanzania. This research aims to look at the particular aspects of the current political atmosphere in Kenya and uncover the reasons that contributed to turning ethnicity into political asset. 



Key words: Kenya, ethnicity, political ethnicity, ethic divide, tribalism, national policy



Georgij Filatov, Institute of World History of the

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 


Colonialism in the ideology of Catalan nationalists 


The events in Catalonia in autumn of 2017 again made the issue of the history of the relationship between the region and the center relevant. In this context, the arguments advanced by the separatists, defending the need to create an independent state, were of particular importance. The colonial theme played a noticeable role among these arguments, although it had not been so vividly expressed in the ideology of the Catalan nationalists. It was not characteristic of the regionalist movement in this part of Spain, because before the Catalan elite  had set itself other goals. Since the abolition of the autonomy of the province at the beginning of the XVIII century and until the beginning of the 2010s. Catalan politicians did not seek to create an independent state. Barcelona for a long time tried to achieve a broad cultural, political and economic autonomy, but within Spain. Therefore, the aspects designed to emphasize the linguistic and cultural specifics of the region dominated the discourse of nationalists for a long time, and parallels with colonial status were the exception rather than the rule. They were used either by separate groups of Catalan emigrants, or by separatist associations inside Catalonia, which were on the periphery of regional politics. However, after the main party of Catalonia, "Convergence and Union", headed for a referendum on independence, the comparison of the region with the colony became one of the central provisions in the discourse of supporters of independence.


Key words: Catalonia, nationalism, colonialism, Spain, regionalism, separatism.



Dmitrij Shkitin, Tomsk State University 


Transfer of power in the Indian subcontinent in 1928-1947:

dynamic and mechanisms


Decolonization and the growth of national identity in the third world countries was  part of the processes that took place in the first half of the XXth century. Decline of empires at  the end of modern age and at the beginning of the contemporary period  went parallel with the  formation of the new subjects of international relations, whose political development was defined by the character of interrelations with their former metropole. South Asian domains of the British Empire were also  part of these processes: the Indian national movement led its own struggle for independence. However, in the subcontinent the metropole and the colony split-up was  part of  a relatively peaceful and long-standing process of so-called transfer of power. The fact that national movement exercised a constant pressure on the British colonial government of India that was in charge of the progress of the transfer was one of the main peculiarity of the whole process. Successful completion of the transfer of power let  both parties benefit from sustainable development of political and socio-economic cooperation as well as retain the relations that were built up during the period of mutual coexistence. Some aspects of transfer of power should be thoroughly scrutinized: after the completion of the transfer Great Britain managed to maintain  good relations with its former colony; a number of constitutional mechanisms elaborated during this process  still exist in India till and define its political landscape; the process influenced the formation of South Asian subsystem of international relations;  the British Empire escape from its colonies left systematic conflicts in the respective regions. The report attempts to determine the dynamics of the transfer of power as well as to consider certain mechanisms and approaches of its implementation.



Nadezhda Pilko, Institute of Slavic Studies of

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow


Colonial consciousness of non-colonial people


Slovenia is a small country in the heart of Europe. However its independence is only 26 years. Throughout its history, Slovenes were part of various states, but at the same time managed to preserve their language, their culture, their national identity

Before the I World War Slovenian lands belonged to Austria-Hungary,  being part of Cisleithania. It is phenomenal that despite rather tough national policies of the Austrian authorities  and  a small number of the Slovenes,  they were able to preserve themselves as a nation. The origin of the idea of independence dates back to the early 19th century when the first figures of science and culture began to think about the destiny of their people. Then  the thesis emerged that rich in natural resources Slovenian lands were exploited as colonies with an inexpensive labor force attached. The Constitution of 1867 infringing the electoral rights of the Slovenes  triggered outrage. Concern was also caused by the movement of "Nemštukar" - representatives of the Slovenian intellectuals who glorified all German. Strangely enough, they were opposed by Slovenian priests, who actively introduced teaching in the Slovenian language in lower schools. They actively opposed the activities of the organization Deutsche Schulferein, which  promoted the Germanization of Slovenian children from school age. In response to this he society of Cyril and Methodius was established   with a view to protecting the population from Germanization.

The First World War gave  the Slovenes hope for national freedom and liberation. Having created together with the Croats and Serbs of Austria-Hungary the State of SHS, which then became part of the Kingdom of SHS (it was an association with the Kingdom of Serbia), the Slovenes gained hope for national freedom. But in the new state they began to experience pressure from the center. Of course, the Serbian authorities did not seek to assimilate the Slovenes and destroy them as a nation, but at the time the idea of Yugoslavism, the idea of creating a united Yugoslav nation based on Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, became particularly popular. Slovenes again undertook struggle for their national identity.

During the Second World War, Slovenian partisans fought actively against three occupiers who seized their lands: Germans, Italians and Hungarians. The society was divided into two camps: those who fought for independence and those who suggested taking  the side of the invaders. In this respect  the position of the Slovenian Catholic Churchis very interesting. On the lands occupied by the Italians, it supported the occupational authorities and contributed to the creation of an army of “domobranci”, on the lands occupied by the Germans – fought for freedom.

After the II World War, the Slovenes joined SFRY. The thesis about using  Slovenian intellectual and raw material resources was preserved and cultivated until Slovenia withdrew from Yugoslavia in 1991. The Slovenes in fact were the initiators of the disintegration of the state. But then they already had their own political elite, support of the West and legal norms, according to which they had the right for self-determination up to secession.


Key words: Slovenia, independence, self-identification, state, colony.