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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Between Commerce And Empire: David Hume, Colonial Slavery, And Commercial Incivility, Onur Ulas Ince Mar 2018

Between Commerce And Empire: David Hume, Colonial Slavery, And Commercial Incivility, Onur Ulas Ince

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Eighteenth-century Enlightenment thought has recently been reclaimed as arobust, albeit short-lived, cosmopolitan critique of European imperialism. Thisessay complicates this interpretation through a study of David Hume’s reflectionson commerce, empire, and slavery. I argue that while Hume condemned thecolonial system of monopoly, war, and conquest, his strictures against empiredid not extend to colonial slavery in the Atlantic. This was because colonialslavery represented a manifestly uncivilinstitution when judged by enlightened metropolitan sensibilities, yet also adecisively commercial institutionpivotal to the eighteenth-century global economy. Confronted by the paradoxical“commercial incivility” of modern slavery, Hume opted for disavowing the linkbetween slavery and commerce, and ...


Between Equal Rights: Primitive Accumulation And Capital's Violence, Onur Ulas Ince Dec 2017

Between Equal Rights: Primitive Accumulation And Capital's Violence, Onur Ulas Ince

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This paper attempts to elaborate a political theory of capital’s violence. Recent analyses haveadopted Karl Marx’s notion of the “primitive accumulation of capital” for investigating theforcible methods by which the conditions of capital accumulation are reproduced in the present.I argue that the analytic function accorded to primitive accumulation can be better performedby a pair of new concepts: “capital-positing violence” and “capital-preserving violence.” Irefine the conceptual core primitive accumulation (coercive capitalization of social relations ofproduction) by focusing on the role of colonial violence in the history of capitalism, which Ithen elucidate with reference to Carl Schmitt’s account ...


Adam Smith, Settler Colonialism, And Cosmopolitan Overstretch, Onur Ulas Ince May 2017

Adam Smith, Settler Colonialism, And Cosmopolitan Overstretch, Onur Ulas Ince

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Adam Smith has recently been celebrated as a precocious theorist of commercialcosmopolitanism who decried the injustice of imperial conquest and extraction. This paperfocuses on Smith’s endorsement of settler colonialism in North America and argues thatSmith’s newfound cosmopolitanism is overstretched. Smith welcomed settler colonies as theembodiment of the “natural progress of opulence” and spared them from his invective againstother imperial practices like chattel slavery and trade monopolies. Smith’s embrace of settlercolonies, however, involved him in an ideological conundrum insofar as the prosperity ofoverseas settlements rested on imperial expansion and seizure of land from Native Americans.I contend that ...


Not A Partnership In Pepper, Coffee, Callico, Or Tobacco: Edmund Burke And The Vicissitudes Of Colonial Capitalism, Onur Ulas Ince Jul 2012

Not A Partnership In Pepper, Coffee, Callico, Or Tobacco: Edmund Burke And The Vicissitudes Of Colonial Capitalism, Onur Ulas Ince

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This essay examines the tensions between liberalism and capitalism through an analysis of Edmund Burke's works on eighteenth-century liberal political economy and, specifically the challenges posed by colonial capitalism. When criticizing the East India Company Burke attempted to fortify "commercial" principles, on which British self-image rested, against the "rapacious" policies of British imperialism in India, which threatened this liberal self-image. His denunciation of the Company thus can be construed as an index to broader contradictions between the liberal self-image of capitalism and the coercive processes of colonial displacement and extraction that were an integral part of capitalism's emergence ...