On Friday 24 June 2022, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) will host a seminar and book launch of Empire’s Violent End: Comparing Dutch, British and French Wars of Decolonization 1945-1962.

The violence attending the end of European empires after 1945 continues to fascinate historians, cultural anthropologists, and political scientists, principally those working from comparative politics and international relations perspectives. With so many working across disciplines it is little wonder that there have been big changes of analytical direction, specialist language, and conceptual approach to the subject of violent decolonization, its actors and agents, the responses and rights of those targeted. What are the ideas and approaches to studying forms and legacies of decolonization violence today?

Building on the experience of the 2019 NIAS-project and the resulting book Empire’s Violent End a group of specialist scholars will gather at NIAS for a one-day seminar on Friday 24 June to discuss their ideas and approaches to studying the forms, dynamics, and legacies of decolonization violence.

The first copy of the book will be presented at 16.00 to NIAS-director Jan Willem Duyvendak.

Themes that will be explored during the seminar:

  • Involvement in decolonization violence: participants, ‘perpetrators’, pretexts, and targets
  • Violence at macro and micro-levels: perspectives and interpretations
  • Inscribing violence: bodies, minds, mutilation and marking
  • Gender dynamics and sexual violence
  • Forced population removal and resource control
  • Ecological violence and environmental spoliation
  • Regulating violence: rules, laws, and transgressions
  • De-exceptionalizing and de-centring : colonial and non-colonial comparability and transimperial violence

The book Empire’s Violent End can be ordered online in The Netherlands or internationally.

The book is also available open access.



Empire's Violent End
Empire's Violent End