Occidentalism

The West is on everyone’s lips: it is defended, celebrated, hated. But how and why did it emerge? And whose idea is it? This book is about representations of the West. Drawing on sources from across the world – from Russia to Japan, Iran to Britain – it argues that the West is not merely a Western idea but something that many people around the world have long been creating and stereotyping. The Idea of the West looks at how the great political and ethnic forces of the last century defined themselves in relation to the West. It shows how Soviet communism, ‘Asian spirituality’, ‘Asian values’ and radical Islamism used and deployed images of the West. Both topical and wide-ranging, it offers an accessible but provocative portrait of a fascinating subject. It also charts the complex relationship between whiteness and the West.

  1. Introduction Alastair Bonnett Pages 1-13
  2. From White to Western: ‘Racial Decline’ and the Rise of the Idea of the West in Britain, 1890–1930 Alastair Bonnett Pages 14-39
  3. Communists Like Us: The Idea of the West in the Soviet Union Alastair Bonnett Pages 40-62
  4. Good-bye Asia: The Westernisers’ West, Fukuzawa and Gökalp Alastair Bonnett Pages 63-78
  5. Soulless Occident/Spiritual Asia: Tagore’s West Alastair Bonnett Pages 79-106
  6. From Soulless to Slacker: The Idea of the West from Pan-Asianism to Asian Values Alastair Bonnett Pages 107-122
  7. Occidental Utopia: The Neo-Liberal West Alastair Bonnett Pages 123-142
  8. Western Dystopia: Radical Islamism and Anti-Westernism Alastair Bonnett Pages 143-162
  9. Conclusion Alastair Bonnett Pages 163-166

see my talk ‘The Dilemmas of the West’, at The West: Conference, Narrative, and Politics, University of Jyväskylä, December 8th 2016, https://moniviestin.jyu.fi/ohjelmat/hum/hela/the-west-concept-narrative-and-politics/alastair-bonnett

‘The Rise Of Occidental Heroes And Villains’
The Times Higher Education Supplement
August 27, 2004

‘Occidentalism’ History Today, 2004, Vol.54 (10), p.40

Arabic translation, Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Beirut, 2017

Academic papers

Bonnett, A. ‘Occidentalismo e modernità pluali’, in Falcioni, D. (Ed.)Genealogie dell’Occidente, Bollati Boringhieri Publisher, Turin, 111-146, 2015

Bonnett, A ‘Foreword’, in The Gaze of the West and Framings of the East, Nair-Venugopal, S (Ed), London, Palgrave, xiv-xv, 2012

Bonnett, A. ‘The critical traditionalism of Ashis Nandy: Occidentalism and the dilemmas of innocence’ Theory, Culture and Society, 29, 1: 138-157, 2012

Bonnett A. ‘Asian Occidentalism and rediscovered modenities’. in Browning C, Lehti M, (Eds) The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy, London, Routledge, 2009

Bonnett A. ‘East/West’ In Kitchin R, Thrift N (Eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 3, Oxford, Elsevier, 2009, 280-284

Bonnett, A. ‘Whiteness and the west’ in Dwyer, C and Bressey, C, (Eds) New Geographies of Race and Racism. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008, 17-28

Bonnett, A. ‘Re-thinking Asia: Multiplying Modernity’. in: Delanty, G, (Ed.) Europe and Asia: Beyond East and West, London, Routledge, 2006, 269-283

Bonnett, A. ‘From the crises of whiteness to Western supremacism’. Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association Journal, 2005, 1(1), 8-20

Bonnett, A. ‘Occidentalism and plural modernities: or how Fukuzawa and Tagore invented the West’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2005, 23(4), 505-525

Bonnett, A. (2003) ‘From white to western: ‘Racial decline’ and the idea of the West in Britain, 1890-1930’ Journal of Historical Sociology 16, 3, pp.320-348

Bonnett, A. (2003)  ‘Makers of the West: National identity and occidentalism in the work of Fukuzawa Yukichi and Ziya Gökalp’ Scottish Geographical Journal 118, 3, pp.165-182