The Origins of Global Humanitarianism: Religion, Empires, and Advocacy

Product Details
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author
Peter Stamatov is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale University. His work has appeared in The American Sociological Review, Theory and Society and Contemporary Sociology, as well as in Hungarian and Brazilian scholarly journals. He is past winner of the Bendix Prize of the Comparative Historical Section of the American Sociological Association and was recipient of Cátedra de Excelencia (Excellence Chair) at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Peter Stamatov's careful analysis coupled with his theoretical acumen allows him to make an important historical claim: long-distance advocacy was not initially a secular institution, but rather emerged from religious activism among established clergy. However, he does not stop at that point. Stamatov argues that religious activism was highly correlated with the pattern of imperial advance. Thus, empire, religion, and long-distance advocacy develop in relation to each other - but not in any predetermined or uniform way. Rather, it is the interaction between the specific national context and the imperial context that generates the timing and character of the long-distance advocacy. This finding is important on a substantive as well as theoretical level. It will be a path-breaking contribution to the literature on globalization and transnational activism.
Mabel Berezin, Cornell University
This monumental book unearths a dazzling array of sources to found a new genealogy of global culture. Early modern Catholic and Protestant churches in Europe sanctioned colonization abroad, but some Spanish and British activists also deployed religion to enlarge the rights of distant colonial subjects. Deciphering the causes of their growing long-distance aid to cultural strangers comprises a puzzle about our times that is every bit as striking as the rise of nationalism or of democratic insurgency. Peter Stamatov has posted a landmark in understanding Western engagement in the world to our day.
Richard Biernacki, University of California, San Diego