Hack, Karl and Rettig, Tobias
(2006). Imperial systems of power, colonial forces and the making of modern Southeast Asia.
In: Hack, Karl and Rettig, Tobias eds.
Colonial Armies in Southeast Asia.
Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia.
London: Routledge, pp. 3–36.
Why do colonial subjects choose to enlist and to court death under the command of officers who come from thousands of miles away? Under what conditions do they stay loyal? When, why and with what results do they revolt?
Questions such as these can be answered only with the greatest diffculuty. In part this is because comparative work on colonial forces is rare, restricted to a few short introductions to edited volumes, whose collections of articles at first seem to invite contrast, rather than comparison. This is compounded by a second problem: the careless use of concepts. the terms colonial armies, colonialism and imperialism have been employed so loosely as to spread confusion. For this reason, we must begin by examining the terminology surrounding "colonial armies" and what we call "imperial systems of power".
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