Empire Ascendant, by our postdoctoral researcher Cees Heere, will be out with Oxford University Press in December 2019.
The sudden rise of Japan at the turn of the twentieth century represented a shock to the international system. It was the first occasion on which a power outside of Europe and the United States adopted the tools of Western-style modernity, and applied them to become a colonial and naval power in its own right.
In Empire Ascendant, Cees Heere examines how the British imperial system wrestled with the implications of Japan's unique status as an Asian power in an international order dominated by European colonial empires. On the settlement frontiers of Australasia and North America, white colonial elites formulated their own responses to the growth of Japan's power, charged by the twinned forces of colonial nationalism and racial anxiety, as they designed immigration laws to exclude Japanese migrants, developed autonomous military and naval forces, and pressed Britain to rally behind their vision of a "white empire." The book also features the US President Theodore Roosevelt, who attempted to develop a coordinated policy with Canada, Australia, and the UK against their "common danger" (as he saw it) of Japanese immigration.
The work represents the culmination of several years of research, undertaken during Dr. Heere's PhD and completed during his tenure at the RIAS. It will be published with Oxford University Press in December 2019.