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The Empire at Home

The Empire at Home

Internal Colonies and the End of Britain

by James Trafford

How is Britain enacting colonialism at home?

Modern Britain is forged through the redeployment of structures that facilitated and legitimized slavery, exploitation and extermination. This is the 'empire at home' and it is inseparable from the strategies of neo-colonial extraction and oppression of subjects abroad.

Here, James Trafford develops the notion of internal colonies, arguing that methods and structures used in colonial rule are re-deployed internally in contemporary Britain in order to recreate and solidify imperial power relations. Using examples including housing segregation, targeted surveillance and counter-insurgency techniques used in the fight against terrorism, Trafford reveals Britain's internal colonialism to be a reactive mechanism to retain British sovereignty.

As politics appears limited by nationalism and protectionism, The Empire at Home issues a powerful challenge to contemporary politics, demanding that Britain as an imperial structure must end.

James Trafford is Reader in Philosophy and Design in the school of Communication Design at the University for the Creative Arts. He is the author of Meaning in Dialogue (Springer, 2017), and co-editor of Alien Vectors (Routledge, 2019), and Speculative Aesthetics (MIT Press, 2016).

'Forceful ... Re-centres coloniality in Britain's past and present in a way that articulates what so many of us experience as the embodied reality of being in Britain, but so rarely get space to voice: that colonialism and its continued methods of control'

- Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, poet and author of 'Postcolonial Banter' (Verve Poetry Press, 2019)

'An excellent and intelligently argued book. It neatly charts the transformation of colonial techniques 'at home' and how Britain was reconfigured in postcolonial terms'

- Gurminder K Bhambra, author of 'Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

'An indispensable read for those who want to both understand and put aside the at once Eurocentric and nationalist lens of Brexit debates'

- Angela Mitropoulos, author of 'Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia' (Minor Compositions, 2012) and 'Pandemonium Proliferating Borders of Capital and the Pandemic Swerve' (Pluto, 2020)

'A must-read for understanding Britain today. Britain is colonial, and the beauty of Trafford's riveting book is to show just how much this simple fact explains of recent British history'

- Nick Srnicek, author of 'Platform Capitalism, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work' (Polity Press, 2016)

'Evocative ... unflinchingly unveils the workings of race as a 'technology that forms part of the machinery of colonialism'. Essential reading for an understanding of how and why white Britishness negates those who are 'in, but not of' it'

- Alana Lentin, Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University and author of 'Why Race Still Matters' (Polity, 2020)

'A fascinating exposé of Britain as an ongoing colonial project. Deftly provides us with the counternarratives we need to think imaginatively about how to dismantle and ultimately end British colonialism'

- Dr Nadine El-Enany, Co-Director, Centre for Research on Race and Law and author of '(B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire' (MUP, 2019)

1. The Mouth of a Shark
2. Extractive Entanglements Across Alien Territories
3. Policing Empire after Empire
4. Homeland Warfare and Differential Racism
5. Extinction Politics
6. The End of Britain
Indicative Bibliography

Published by Pluto Press in Dec 2020
Paperback ISBN: 9780745341002
eBook ISBN: 9781786806758

135mm x 215mm

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