Cover: Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State, from Harvard University PressCover: Ruling the Savage Periphery in HARDCOVER

Ruling the Savage Periphery

Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State

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Product Details


$49.95 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674980709

Publication Date: 05/05/2020


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 photos


By asserting that the frontier did not close and vanish—as his precursor Frederick Jackson Turner so famously did in 1893—Hopkins challenges one of our hoariest understandings of frontier zones. What he reveals is that the frontier, and its violence, can be found wherever imperial soldiers are sent—wherever they imagine the local people over the horizon as inhabiting ‘Indian country’… Hopkins [succeeds] in leaving readers with an enduring sense of the palimpsest of empires that continues to structure our contemporary world.—Karl Jacoby, Public Books

His most expansive project yet, tracing the global diffusion of frontier governing practices from northwest India, to South Africa, to the American west, and finally Argentina.… An eminently readable book that balances its theoretical and conceptual contributions with truly ground-breaking insight into the globalization of frontier governmentality.—Martin J. Bayly, Critical Asian Studies

An outstanding book, with an original and clearly articulated argument well supported by evidence from an impressive array of archives around the world. Informed by the logic of empire and capitalism, frontier governmentality locked those at the margins of empire into a relationship of dependency with no prospect for economic betterment. Hopkins tells a gripping story well. His provocative contention that violence created colonial empires but sustains postcolonial states ought to stir up debate.—Ayesha Jalal, author of The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics

This is an ambitious and important book. The concept of ‘frontier governmentality’ is a very engaging and largely persuasive idea with broad applicability. Hopkins provides us with new ways to think about the relationship between the center and periphery, and the ambitious comparative dimension—along with the refusal to flatten differences—makes this a work that will command a wide readership in the fields of British Empire, Central and South Asia, and world history, but will also speak directly to those who study indigenous peoples, colonialism and post-colonialism, and global borderlands.—Andrew Graybill, author of Policing the Great Plains: Rangers, Mounties, and the North American Frontier

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

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In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene