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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Moritz Bonn, southern Africa and the critique of colonialism
Author:Gordon, Rob
Periodical:African Historical Review (ISSN 1753-2531)
Geographic terms:Namibia
South Africa
biographies (form)
About person:Moritz Julius Bonn (1873-1965)ISNI
Abstract:In 1906/1907 Moritz Bonn (1873-1965) set out to test Hobson's theory of Imperialism in southern Africa. His extensive analyses, published in the leading social science journal of the era and in pamphlet form, constitute the first systematic analyses of southern African societies. Bonn's experiences in the region also led him to become the first scholar to argue for the necessity and inevitability of decolonization; he also anticipated the rise of fascism. While Bonn was well known and well connected during the inter-war period, he is today virtually forgotten even among specialists. This paper offers an intellectual biography in order to understand how Bonn's first-hand experience of colonialism, in Ireland, South Africa and German Southwest Africa led to important insights. A fresh consideration of this important liberal political economist of colonialism and empire challenges the established genealogy of ideas and approaches to world system theory and to empire, and especially the recent tendency to view German liberals as imperialist boosters. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]