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State, Class, and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864

Sakis Gekas

380 pages, 8 illus., 10 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-261-6 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Published (December 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-262-3 eBook

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“Well-written, conversant with a wide range of literature, and grounded in the relevant primary sources, this book makes meaningful contributions to numerous bodies of scholarship. In particular, it presents a sophisticated, holistic, multi-faceted analysis of commercial development and class formation in the Mediterranean during the nineteenth century, showing how economic development was deeply implicated in the creation of the colonial state.” · Thomas Gallant, University of California, San Diego


Of the many European territorial reconfigurations that followed the wars of the early nineteenth century, the Ionian State remains among the least understood. Xenocracy offers a much-needed account of the region during its half-century as a Protectorate of Great Britain—a period that embodied all of the contradictions of British colonialism. A middle class of merchants, lawyers and state officials embraced and promoted a liberal modernization project. Yet despite the improvements experienced by many Ionians, the deterioration of state finances led to divisions along class lines and presented a significant threat to social stability. As author Sakis Gekas shows, the ordeal engendered dependency upon and ambivalence toward Western Europe, anticipating the “neocolonial” condition with which the Greek nation struggles even today.

Sakis Gekas is an Associate Professor and the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History at York University, Toronto. He has written on the Ionian Islands under British rule, on merchants and ports in the Mediterranean, and the economic history of nineteenth-century Greece.

Subject: 18th/19th Century History Colonialism
Area: Southern Europe


List of Figures


Chapter 1. The First Greek State and the Origins of Colonial Governmentality
Chapter 2. Building the Colonial State
Chapter 3. Law, Colonialism and State Formation
Chapter 4. Colonial Knowledge and the Making of Ionian Governmentality
Chapter 5. ‘A True and Hateful Monopoly’: Merchants and the State
Chapter 6. State Finances and the Cost of Protection
Chapter 7. Building a Modern State: Public Works and Public Spaces
Chapter 8. ‘Progress’: State Policies for Ionian Development
Chapter 9. Poverty, the State and the Middle Class
Chapter 10. The Literati and the Liberali. The making of the Ionian bourgeoisie

Conclusion: 1864; the end of colonial rule?


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