183 “Danish empire”, which is acknowledged (p. 448) as an important inspiration for the current volume.14 A short section on terminology by Bregnsbo and series editor Niels Brimnes (pp. 58-61) suggests that the reasons for this are temporal. The term imperialism applies above all to the European “scramble” after empire especially in Africa in the period 1870-1914, they argue, and is thus “less relevant as a term than colonialism for Denmark”,15 given that by the late nineteenth century the weakened Danish state was seeking to divulge itself of its remaining colonial possessions. It may indeed be justi?ied to consider late nineteenth-century European imperialism as a historically speci?ic phenomenon, but this is by no means irrelevant to Danish history. Indeed, the last third of the nineteenth century was the period when Denmark, rather than withdrawing into small state isolation after 1864, became ever more closely integrated with the world economy as an exporter of agricultural food products directly to the British Empire.16 It would be reasonable to argue that such criteria were always going to be necessary to keep the series manageable and coherent. But there is also the danger that their strict application can also obscure, by creating a dualism between the metropole and colony; the kingdom of Denmark and the wider colonial realm. I agree with Iver B. Neumann’s argument that attempts to claim the status of colonial victims for Iceland, the Faroe Islands and even Norway are problematic, not least in that such claims disregard the peculiar violence of the European colonial subjugation of non-European peoples.17 There are of course some parallels here with the debates about the use of colonial models for understanding the entangled histories of the different territories that make up the British Isles, especially Ireland, though we should also heed Stephen Howe’s warning that “ambivalence and ambiguity resonate throughout the story”.18 Comparing the status of Scot land and Norway within the British and Danish kingdoms respectively, Morten Skumsrud Andersen has proposed the term “semi-centre” to describe these territories, both of which were separate political entities with their own administrative and legal traditions, but whose elites also shared strong connections to the metropolitan centre not least through their participation in colonial en d e a v o u r s . 19 Further 14 Bregnsbo and Jensen: Det Danske Imperium. 15 ”et mindre relevant begreb for Danmark end kolonialisme”. 16 Norwegian “noncolonial colonialism” in this period is explored in Kjerland and Bertelsen: Navigating Colonial Orders. I would like to thank Magdalena Naum for bringing this to my attention; see also Naum’s review of this volume in Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 17 (2), 2016. 17 For a critique of attempts to position Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway as “colonies” of a Danish empire, see Neumann: ‘Imperializing Norden’. 18 Howe: Ireland and Empire, 7-20, quote 13. 19 Andersen: ’Hva var Norge’.
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