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    The Congo of Europe: The Balkans and empire in early Twentieth-Century British political culture

    Perkins, James (2015) The Congo of Europe: The Balkans and empire in early Twentieth-Century British political culture. The Historical Journal 58 (02), pp. 565-587. ISSN 0018-246X.

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    This article explores early twentieth-century British political and humanitarian engagement with the Balkans. It focuses on the Balkan Committee, a liberal pressure group that served as the main hub for British interest in the region in the decade before the First World War. Whilst drawing attention to the specific challenges presented by the Balkans to the British liberal mind, it is argued that the Balkan Committee was part of a wider movement of humanitarianism and political activism that encompassed both continental and colonial questions. The issues around which the committee campaigned are related to humanitarian protests against the use of forced labour in Africa, in particular the Congo Reform Association, as well as to the Persia Committee, formed in protest against the 1907 Anglo-Russian agreement. This approach highlights how ‘Europe’ and empire were interconnected agendas within an overarching liberal-internationalist worldview and reformist conscience, despite the different cultural lenses through which humanitarian questions in different parts of the globe were viewed. It is suggested that research into British interaction with the Balkans offers a fruitful means by which to integrate historical analysis of the continental and imperial aspects of Britain's external relations in the ‘age of empire’.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2015 12:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:18


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