Xenocracy: State, Class, and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864 | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Xenocracy: State, Class, and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864

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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 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (December 2016)

ISBN  978-1-80539-127-2 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (November 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80539-391-7 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“…a study that is not only relevant to scholars and students of modern Greece, but also to anyone interested in the history of the modern Mediterranean and of the British Empire.” • History: Review of New Books

Xenocracy is a valuable contribution that succeeds in raising broad questions and creating a dialogue between vast fields of scholarship through the analysis of a small-scale, ‘peripheral’ setting. Gekas’ empirical findings will constitute a solid reference for further studies on Mediterranean colonialism as well as the history of the Greek State. His book is therefore strongly recommended to all readers interested in state and class formation in the nineteenth century.” • H-Soz-Kult

“The book is a very significant contribution not only to the history of the Ionian Islands but also to the history of the nineteenth-century Mediterranean and the development of the British imperialism… The field of Mediterranean history has recently received many interesting additions, and Xenocracy is among the best. The book should also appeal to those interested in the development of colonial governance in the region and beyond.” • Journal of Modern Greek Studies

“…the book offers important insights on the nineteenth-century Mediterranean as a sea of colonial experimentation. One of Gekas’ most insightful points concerns the British colonisers’ creative play between interventionist and noninterventionist policies.” • Historein

“Drawing on a wide array of Ionian and British archival sources, Gekas skillfully analyzes the governmentality of the British Empire in the islands…[He] provides an insightful look into the ‘modernizing’ attempts of British colonial rule by arguing that state formation in the first decades of the Ionian State went hand in hand with colonial public projects and public infrastructure works.” • American Historical Review

“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. Sakis Gekas shows that the impasse engendered de- pendency 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: History: 18th/19th CenturyColonial History
Area: Southern Europe


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