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Ruling the “Savage” Periphery: The strange history of frontier governmentalityBenjamin Hopkins

Ruling the “Savage” Periphery: The strange history of frontier governmentality

Benjamin Hopkins

Hybrid – Online and Bunche Hall, Room 10383



Ruling the Savage Periphery makes a bold claim about the modern global order and the central role ‘frontier’ spaces have made in its construction. Arguing that the ‘frontier’ is a practice rather than a place, this talk theorizes that the particular way states govern such spaces – ‘frontier governmentality’ – presents a unique constellation of power defining states and their limits. Ranging from the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands to the Arizona desert to the Argentine pampas, the talk presents an ambitious and provocative global history with continuing purchase today.



As senior associate dean of academic affairs, Professor Hopkins oversees the Elliott School's Academic Programs, Graduate Admissions, International Exchanges, and Student Services. Benjamin D. Hopkins is a historian of modern South Asia, specializing in the history of Afghanistan and British imperialism on the Indian subcontinent. He has authored, co-authored, and co-edited numerous books on the region, including The Making of Modern Afghanistan, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, and Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier. His latest book, Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State, which won the Association of Asian Studies Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize (2022), presents a global history of how the limits of today’s state-based political order were organized in the late nineteenth century, with lasting effects to the present day. He is currently working on a manuscript about the American war in Afghanistan provisionally entitled, The War that Destroyed America, as well as A Concise History of Afghanistan for Cambridge University Press.






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Download file: Hopkins-2s-yzz.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia, This event is sponsored by Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History, Department of History, UCLA

27 Feb 24
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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