Trying to look on the bright side of colonialism

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The Global BioEthics Blog is written by Stuart Rennie, Co-Principal Investigator, NIH/Fogarty bioethics grants in DR Congo and South Africa; ethics consultant UNC-Gap projects in DR Congo and Madagascar; Associate Professor in UNC Department of Social Medicine, Core Faculty in UNC Bioethics Center.

There has been a big flap this week about an article published in Third World Quarterly entitled ‘The Case for Colonialism’ by Bruce Gilley at Portland State University. The controversy seemingly revolves around how the article was published by the journal’s editor despite having been rejected by its reviewers, i.e. a violation of the peer review process. But, of course, the complaints are not purely about the process of the paper coming to light: after all, the author is arguing that colonialism was largely a good thing, and we should have more of it. There would be much less political buzz if the journal’s editor had, over the objections of reviewers, approved a paper called ‘The Case Against Colonialism.’As for the paper itself, it is something of a train wreck, and there is a strong case for thinking the reviewers (whose reviews are apparently under lock and key) were right

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Trying to look on the bright side of colonialism