lorenzo veracini on the settler colonial situation


Lorenzo Veracini, ‘The Settler Colonial Situation’, Native Studies Review 19, 1 (2010):

This article interprets the settler-colonial situation as fundamentally premised on the irruption into a specific locale of a sovereign collective of settlers. A comprehensive body of historical and postcolonial literature highlights how the colonial situation is premised on the sustained reproduction of a series of exclusive dichotomies. In contrast, this article argues that the settler-colonial situation establishes a system of relationships comprising three different agencies: the settler colonizer, the indigenous colonized, and a variety of differently categorized exogenous “Others.” In this context, indigenous and subaltern exogenous Others appeal to the European sovereign to articulate grievances emanating from settler abuse, the metropolitan agency interposes its sovereignty between settler and indigenous or subaltern exogenous communities, and settlers insist on their autonomous capacity to control indigenous policy. The capacity to manage the population economy of a settler locale is thus a crucial marker of a settler substantive sovereignty. Significantly, however, the settlercolonial situation is generally understood as an inherently dynamic circumstance where indigenous and exogenous Others are understood as progressively disappearing in a variety of ways. Only the settler body politic in its ultimate sovereign assertion against metropolitan interference and against indigenous residues or other insurgencies is expected to survive an inherently temporary triangulation.

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