Journal of Contemporary History (Volume 56, Issue 4, 5 October 2021)
Edward J. Erickson (ed.), A Global History of Relocation in Counterinsurgency Warfare, London: Bloomsbury, 2020; xii+286 pp.; £67.50 hbk; £22.49 pbk; ISBN 978135006297
This collection uses case studies to constitute a ‘military’ history of the ‘operational’ use of relocation in ‘counterinsurgency’ (COIN), aiming for an ‘objective’ and value-neutral approach. Starting with the expulsion of about half the French settles from Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritime Provinces), it finishes with resettlement in Portuguese Africa during decolonization. The case-study approach allows a broad range of examples, albeit of variable length. This approach thus offers farm more breadth and depth than Laleh Khalili’s chapter 2 of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (2013), which provided a sweeping, critical but necessarily shallow overview. This book’s broad coverage also makes it more comprehensive than Simon Webb’s British Concentration Camps, any particular study (say David Anderson’s and Caroline Elkin’s forensic exposure of British methods and abuses in Kenyan camps and prosecutions), or even overviews of solely British counterinsurgency (such as David French’s excellent The British Way to Counterinsurgency of 2011, with its argument that the British used coercion and exemplary violence for demonstrative purposes).
*AVİM’s Note: AVİM’s Scholar in Residence Dr. Maxime Gauin is a contributing author to Edward J. Erickson’s book reviewed above. For further information, please see Chapter 6 of the book titled “Uneven Repression, The Ottoman State and its Armenians” authored by Dr. Gauin.
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