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Pan-Nationalism of Pan-Islamic, Pan-Asian, and Pan-African Thought

Abstract and Keywords

Through a study of Pan-Islamic, Pan-Asian, and Pan-African thought, this chapter traces the origins of pan-nationalism to the high age of globalization and colonial expansion, from the 1870s to the 1920s, when nationalism itself was in its formative period in relation to strong imperial visions. It argues that the transnational identity of ‘Muslim’, ‘Asian’, or ‘African’ emerged by the turn of the twentieth century due to a process of ‘geopoliticization of globalization’. The appeal of Pan-Islamic, Pan-Asian, and Pan-African ideas for both nationalist movements and various empires of that time demonstrate the power of transnational identities associated with this new geopolitical thinking. The chapter concludes with the argument that we should consider pan-nationalism primarily as a counter public opinion discourse about the moral foundations of the globalized imperial world order from the 1870s to the late 1940s, which contributed greatly to the decolonization process, even at times being utilized by various projects of imperial control.

Keywords: Pan-Islamism, Pan-Asianism, Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism, geopolitics, Orientalism, racism, anti-imperialist thought, Khilafat Movement, Third Worldism


Any history of modern nationalism(s) has to face a major puzzle about nationalism’s involvement with pan-nationalist projects. The history of almost all nationalist movements, especially in the colonized world, was intertwined with a pan-nationalist discourse, vision, or project. We cannot understand the histories of Egyptian, Indonesian, and Turkish nationalisms independent of pan-Islamism, nor the histories of Indian, Japanese, and Chinese nationalisms without the influence of pan-Asianist visions. Similarly, many of the nationalist movements in Africa were linked to pan-African nationalism. Moreover, various forms of pan-nationalism (from pan-Slavism, pan-Islamism, pan-Asianism, and pan-Africanism, to pan-Arabism and pan-Americanism) were highly attractive to both anti-colonial nationalist movements and various empires and great powers (Russian, Ottoman, Japanese, American) that were not necessarily in agreement with anti-colonial assumptions. In fact, pan-nationalism could be utilized as an instrument, justification and propaganda for hegemonic imperial projects. How should we see the world-historical significance and legacy of pan-nationalism for the formation of the modern world order, as well as for the history of nationalism and decolonization? How can we understand the contradictory reflections of the political projects of pan-nationalism in modern history?

We do know that the story of nationalism is partly related to contradictory forces of globalization. Yet, in the literature about the interactions between globalization and (p. 673) nationalism, we often overlook the fact that, for a significant period of time, pan-national identities and ideals were as important as other kinds of national ones in moulding the political imagination, which in turn shaped the nature of globalization in the twentieth century. The origins of pan-nationalisms have to be understood in terms of the diverse ways political communities have been imagined in a rapidly globalizing imperial world order since the middle of the nineteenth century.

To illustrate the world-historical significance of pan-nationalisms, this chapter will focus on the case studies of pan-Islamism, pan-Asianism, and pan-Africanism, three major pan-nationalist movements that interacted with nationalist thought and projects in Asia and Africa from the 1880s to the 1960s. While outlining the origins of the three pan-nationalisms taken as case studies, the chapter will discuss how they produced important critiques of globalization, empires, international law, and struggles for justice. Then, the chapter will assess how the political trajectories and intellectual content of these three pan-nationalist visions became transformed during the interwar period, accommodating the challenges by Wilsonian and socialist internationalism. Although pan-nationalism adjusted its vision to the idea of national self-determination and a world order beyond the community of empires, it could still be utilized by various imperial projects, as can be seen in the case of pan-Asianism sponsored by the Japanese Empire. In the final section, the chapter will examine the role played by these three pan-nationalist movements in the process of decolonization, with close attention to their post-Second World War reconfigurations. Paying close attention to the intellectual content and impact of pan-nationalist ideas might also help us understand the seeming revival of pan-nationalism in the aftermath of the Cold War and its new institutional versions in the age of nation states.

By examining the appeal and persistence of pan-nationalist ideas, this chapter suggests that we evaluate the historical formation of the modern international order, with the legitimacy of the sovereign nation states loosely cooperating under the umbrella of the United Nations, in the light of its alternative historical possibilities. Nationalism and nation states are constructs of global modernity in its world-order dimension. Yet, there were other constructs, such as civilizations, races, continents, and cultures, which also have had significant influence on contemporary international formations. Pan-nationalism should be understood as one of these modern constructs of imaginations, and the resultant political projects, that preceded, accompanied, aided, resisted, and perpetuated the ideal of nationalism and the formation of sovereign nation states.

The Genesis of Pan-Nationalisms during the Age of High Imperialism, 1882–1919

Pan-nationalisms are generally defined as ‘politico-cultural movements seeking to enhance and promote the solidarity of peoples bound together by common or kindred (p. 674) language, cultural similarities, the same historical traditions, and/or geographical proximity. They postulate the nation writ large in the world’s community of nations.’1 Yet, this definition of pan-nationalism based on the shared assumptions of a supranational community has to account for when and how a globally constructed notion of continental, racial, and cultural community emerged.

There were regional, religious, and cultural identities connecting different communities in Asia and Africa before the experiences of Eurocentric globalization in the nineteenth century. However, these transregional links in the Asian and African continents, and Muslim societies, never produced any pan-nationalist vision. For example, during the medieval and early modern periods, the predominantly Muslim parts of West and Central Asia, together with the Muslim populations of South Asia and China, shared various levels of Muslim networks of trade, education, literature, and pilgrimage, which also extended to Africa. Similar to the networks fostered by the Islamic faith and the Arabic language, Buddhism and more importantly China-centered Confucianism and Chinese literary culture created powerful networks in East Asia, facilitating the exchange of ideas, goods, and human travel in a large region extending from Korea and Japan to India and Southeast Asia. Yet, until the late nineteenth century, there was no shared consciousness of being Asian or African in the sense of a pan-nationalist feeling of belonging to a specific continent or race, nor were there any signs of pan-Islamism. Rather than pan-national identities, imperial identities were very important. In fact, we must see empires, not religion, civilization, race, ethnicity, as the main actors of world history.2 Even in the first half of the nineteenth century, imperial units were taken as the basic actors of the rapidly globalizing world order, in a diplomatic arrangement symbolized by the Congress of Vienna of 1815. According to the logical outcomes of this system, as embodied in the alliances of the Crimean War (1853–6), the Ottoman Empire, for example, would not be associated with either Turkish nationality or pan-Islamic solidarity.3

During the second half of the nineteenth century, when the Eurocentric notions of continents, races, and civilizations became globalized and spread to different societies in Asia and Africa, various geopolitical and continental identities began to be shared and embraced by individuals and social groups from Morocco and Egypt to China, Japan, and Mongolia. Some of these pan-national identities could be overlapping, as Indian Muslims or Muslims under the Dutch Rule in East Indies could share both a pan-Asian and a pan-Islamic identification, while Egyptian nationalists could be proud of being Muslim and African (and still sympathize with Japan and China). Moreover, the racial nature of some of the geopolitical identities of Asia and Africa (which were loosely tied to yellow and black race constructions) made members of the African diaspora in America strong advocates of pan-Africanism, while the Chinese diaspora was linked to a pan-Asian identity. By the turn of the twentieth century, the geopolitical identities of race, civilization, and continent were so entrenched in the global public sphere that nationalist and reformist intellectuals all over the world had to envision their future and destiny in terms of this dominant narrative about pan-national identities.

(p. 675) Thus, it was the spread of Eurocentric categories of knowledge about human geography, coupled with the intense process of globalization in the second half of the nineteenth century, that led to the emergence of Asian, Islamic, and African identities, a precondition for the rise of pan-nationalist thought. For example, a global Asian-Buddhist identity was created not only by travels within the Buddhist world but also through familiarity with the emerging European literature of the history of Buddhism. Thanks to these intra-Asian Buddhist travels and dialogues, Buddhists from Japan to Sri Lanka contributed to the formation of a modern Buddhist canon and facilitated a new pan-Asian Buddhist identity that was best reflected in the 1893 Chicago World Parliament of Religions.4 Similarly, although pre-modern Muslim networks already existed, it was only during the mid-nineteenth century that the Muslims of West Asia began to visit, write, and read about Muslims in China or Southeast Asia, leading to the formation of a new consciousness about a global Muslim World.5 African identity also reflected this dimension of movement of peoples coupled with intellectual history, and it was individuals from the African diasporas in America and Europe who became the most vocal advocates of early pan-Africanism.6

Due to its crucial global nature and intellectual component, pan-nationalism was never just a natural response to European expansion in Asia and Africa, which had already been taking place since the late eighteenth century. In fact, at the time of the French invasion of Algeria in 1830, the Opium Wars in China (1839–60), or Indian Mutiny in 1857, there was no developed notion of Asian, African, or Islamic solidarity as a response. Instead, many intellectuals from the existing non-Western empires (Ottoman, Chinese, Japanese, and Persian) accepted the idea of a universal European civilization and even the benevolence of European imperialism in offering to uplift the level of civilization in the rest of the world.7 Formulated in the paradigm of liberal civilizationism, this ideology allowed the non-Western imperial elites to challenge the new European international society to be more inclusive, by asking European powers to accept the multi-religious Ottoman State and Iran ruled by a Muslim dynasty, or the non-Christian Chinese and Japanese empires ruled by non-Christian emperors as equal members of the new system, upon the fulfillment of the required reforms. Appropriation of the notion of a Eurocentric but universal civilization by the Ottoman, Chinese, Egyptian, Persian, and Japanese elites also empowered these same elites in domestic politics, as they could justify centralizing radical reforms over their own populations as a civilizing mission.8 Self-civilizing projects in Cairo, Istanbul, or Tokyo meant that peasants had to pay more taxes and families had to send their male children to the army, while diverse sub-national lifestyles had to be sorted out for the homogenizing projects of the central government.

While the globalizing world order of the nineteeth century was shaped by cooperation among various European empires, and non-Western empires trying to join this club of civilized empires, a gradual yet radical change began to occur from the 1850s to the 1880s in terms of the rise of racial, cultural, and continental identities demarcating humanity. The Ottoman Empire initially hoped to become a civilized empire composed of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish subjects, but it increasingly became identified (p. 676) with Islam and the Muslim world. The Russian Empire began to champion the cause of Slavic races and Orthodox Christianity, although it had a substantial Muslim population, many of whom were loyal to the czar. Both the Japanese and Chinese empires began to be associated with yellow race. More importantly, European empires were embracing the ethos of the superiority of the white race over coloured races, or the superiority of Christianity over Islam in its legitimacy claims during a more intense and competitive imperial expansion symbolized by the post-1882 division of Africa by various European empires.

It is in the period from the 1880s to the First World War that world public opinion witnessed the popularization of geopolitics as the predominant paradigm for interpreting international politics. The full colonization of Africa and more aggressive imperialism by European powers were sustained by more systematic theories of Orientalism and race ideology, establishing permanent identity-walls between Christian white Europeans on the one hand and the Muslim world or the coloured races on the other. In that sense, Muslim responses to the invasion of Tunisia and Egypt in the early 1880s were different from their response to the invasion of Algeria some fifty years earlier. In the early 1880s European expansion and hegemony were seen as part of a global pattern of uneven and unjust relationships. Similarly, when European empires were dividing Africa between themselves, the emphasis on the mission of the white race to civilize the ‘dark continent’ became stronger over the years, prompting African-American intellectuals to reflect on the global politics of their race. By the turn of the twentieth century, the global consciousness of supranational identities was already well established in various educated reformist communities all over the world, whether in the form of the strong white Western pride of American Ivy League elites and globalized black consciousness of African Americans, or Chinese, Ottoman, and Japanese intellectuals’ perceptions of themselves as Asians and Orientals. Non-Western reformists who were enthusiastic about executing Westernizing reforms began to perceive a non-transcendable racial and cultural barrier between their own societies and Europe, and expressed a strong sense of being pushed away by the European centre to which they were looking for inspiration. During the high age of imperialism, the anti-Muslim racist statements of British Prime Minister William Gladstone or the anti-yellow race remarks of German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm were not scandals of rarity, but mainstream European discourses supported by a multitude of racial and cultural theories in European social sciences and humanities.

It is in this context that pan-Islamic, pan-African, and pan-Asian ideas were produced as a rethinking of the relationship between civilizing processes, the international order, and predominant forms of racial and religious identities. The first pan-Islamic magazine, al-‘Urwat al-Wuthqa, was published in Paris by Jamal ad-Din Afghani (1838–97) and Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849–1905) in the early 1880s.9 Similarly, the first pan-Asian organization, Kôakai, was established in 1880.10 Pan-Islamic and pan-Asian ideas gradually entered into the vocabulary of writings about international affairs, often paralleling the ideas of pan-Slavism, pan-Germanism, and later pan-Europeanism. Similarly, around the same period, pan-Africanism started as a political (p. 677) project calling for the solidarity and potential union of all Africans into a single African federation to which those in the African diaspora could return. The earliest notions of a pan-African vision of unity were developed by a wide range of African-American intellectuals, such as Martin R. Delany (1812–85), Alexander Crummell (1822–98), and Edward Blyden (1832–1912), who all influenced the more systematic ideas of African identity and unity in the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963). Their ‘negro race’-based pan-Africanism rested in large part on a critique of Western civilization and white supremacism.11 Initially, well-educated non-Western or non-white intellectuals had to think of themselves as members of a single ‘Negro’ race, yellow race, Oriental or Muslim world, before they could envision a program of pan-nationalism. These global level supranational identity markers could overlap and sometimes contradict each other. For example, by picking race as the primary key to identity, early pan-Africanists excluded the lighter-skinned, Arabic-speaking North African populations, who were mostly Muslim, from their vision of unity. Similarly, some early pan-Asianists would see Muslim empires in India as an outside force.12 Yet, gradually, pan-nationalists would become more inclusive and internationalist.

All the pan-nationalist visions of Asian, African, or Muslim solidarity had to rely on a set of assumptions about the seemingly natural division of humanity into various supranational groups. For example, pan-Asianists of different shades and colours were of one mind on the question of why they were pan-Asianists, which was that ‘Asia is one’ but ‘Asia was weak’, and Asians have to cooperate to get Asia out of its state of weakness and subjugation.13 Similarly, Muslims all over the world began to perceive the Islamic world as a geopolitical and cultural unit, unjustly oppressed by the Christian West and in need of revival. These assumptions of the unity of black race, yellow race, Asia, Africa, Muslim world, America, was always accompanied by a geopolitical vision and a comparison to the assumed unity and superiority of the white race, Christian West, or Europe. Based on this comparison to the unity of the West, there was a desire to assert the moral, historical, and racial equality of Asians, Muslims, Africans, or coloured races, with the additional implication of a need for solidarity to overcome the existing weakness of the transnational group of identification.

Political projects of union, federation, or solidarity advocated by different pan-nationalist ideals were not very realistic, because there was no imperial or international power that could implement these projects, even though advocates of pan-nationalist ideals were looking for a power centre to support their projects. The political and intellectual elites of the Ottoman, Chinese, Japanese, or Persian empires would agree with the basic assumptions of their Muslim, yellow race, or Asian identities, and like their counterparts in Europe and America, they shared the Eurocentric notions of world geography and geopolitics. However, these imperial elites could not officially endorse nor were they interested in any notion of pan-national and anti-Western solidarity. Elites of these non-Western polities were very careful in fostering friendly cooperation with Western powers while attempting to prevent Western suspicions that they could be behind a ‘reactionary’ alliance against the West. At certain times and in certain locations pan-nationalist projects could have a pro-Western modernist imperial (p. 678) twist and could actually be supported by a European empire. For example, the advocates of the Ottoman support for the Aceh Sultanate (against the Dutch attacks) during the 1870s made the argument that it should be the duty of the Ottoman Empire to civilize the backward Muslim peripheries. Similarly, there were pan-Africanists in the US who could consider getting Western support to ‘civilize’ the African continent by bringing Western technology there.14 As pan-ideologies were linked to geopolitical thinking, during the First World War the German Empire could contemplate using pan-Islamism against the British and Russian empires.

More important than its political projects, pan-nationalism produced important cultural achievements and was instrumental in the formation of anti-colonial counter-public opinion. Muslim intellectuals attended Orientalist congresses in Europe to counter the discourses of their inferiority by European scholars.15 Pan-Asian intellectuals produced important critiques of Euro-American discourses on yellow race, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Asia.16 Pan-Africanism encouraged and inspired a body of shared literature, artistic projects, and historical writings about black Africans in a truly transnational intellectual sphere.17 It was already a great achievement to argue for and insist on the equality of black and white races, and to demonstrate their rights for political independence via new narratives of African and other forms of black cultural achievements. Pan-Asianism and pan-Islamism were similarly instrumental in the formation of counter-narratives against the Eurocentric view of human history and the global future, with strong arguments against racism.

From the 1880s to the 1910s, pan-nationalist non-Western intellectuals offered internal critiques and revisions of Eurocentric race and cultural theories and world- history narratives, if possible in dialogue with European intellectuals. It is in this context that the very flexibility of the concepts of Asian, African, Eastern, Islamic civilizations, and their achievements as compared to an idealized European civilization, allowed pan-nationalist intellectuals to inject their own visions and subjectivity into these European-originated notions. The response of Muslim modernist intellectuals to the views of the French philosopher and religious scholar Ernest Renan on Islam and progress showed how a pan-nationalist view of Islamic history and civilization could emerge in the truly global public sphere of the 1880s. Renan championed the intellectual trend to ‘Hellenize Christianity and Semitize/Arabize Islam’.18 Before the 1870s, Muslim reformists thought that the Muslim world shared the same cultural legacy with modern Europe (Hellenism and monotheism), and thus believed that they had stronger innate capacities for progress and civilization along European lines than black Africans. If the Arab-Muslim civilization had preserved the Hellenistic legacy of science and philosophy and passed it on to modern Europe, there could not be anything contradictory in being a Muslim and being civilized and progressive.19 Being aware of these optimistic Muslim modernist ideas, Renan argued that science in the medieval Muslim world had developed despite Islam and the Arabs, not because of them. For Renan, as Islam was the religion of Semitic Arabs, it could never be compatible with modernity and progress, and Muslims would have to shed their religion in order to adapt to (p. 679) modern life.20 As a scholar of Islam, Renan noted that if there were great scientific and cultural achievements in medieval Islam, this was either due to Christian Arabs, whose Hellenistic Christian faith controlled their Semitic Arab side, or due to Iranian Muslims whose Aryan race overshadowed the negativities of their Semitic faith.

Muslim intellectuals perceived Renan’s ideas as the most eloquent formulation of the prevalent European image of the Islamic world as an inferior race, justifying European colonialism in the Muslim world just a few years after the invasions of Tunisia and Egypt in 1881 and 1882. Many Muslim intellectuals published refutations of Renan’s ideas; they also searched for venues and means to engage in a dialogue with European intellectuals, especially through attendance at Orientalist congresses. In fact, the Ottoman government sponsored trips of prominent intellectuals or sent bureaucrats to read semi-official papers.21 These efforts to support their intellectual heritage were creating a new pan-Islamic narrative of the golden age of Islamic history, the compatibility of Islam with modernity, the humiliation of the Muslim world by unjust colonial subjugation, and the necessity of reviving Islamic pride, which would all support demands by Muslims for political equality.

Non-Muslim Asians also struggled with similar discourses of Christianity’s superiority over Buddhism and Hinduism, or the white race’s superiority over the coloured races. The Chicago World Parliament of Religions in 1893 as well as the 1911 London Universal Races Congress became forums where Asians and Africans intellectually and eloquently refuted Western racial superiority with their own narratives about Islamic, Asian, and African civilization.22 Pan-African intellectuals were especially successful in formulating their critique of racism, as most of its leading advocates in the diaspora could write in the English language. In addition to influential figures in the United States such as W. E. B. Dubois, before the First World War, most of the pan-African intellectual and political activism was organized by African students in Britain. They used the name ‘Ethiopianism’, a pre-First World War movement best depicted in J. E. Casely Hayford’s (1866–1930) autobiographical novel Ethiopia Unbound (published in London in 1911). All of these activities aimed at ‘race emancipation’ while proudly claiming Africa as the ‘cradle of civilization’.23 Various pan-African, pan-Islamic, and pan-Asian engagements with Orientalism and race ideologies demonstrate that Orientalist and racist notions at that time were omnipresent but not omnipotent. They could be redefined and re-employed for diverse purposes very different from the intentions of the original European formulators of the dichotomy between Eastern and Western civilizations, or white-coloured race divisions.

Pan-nationalist ideas were most visible in the perception of international affairs and world history by non-Western intellectuals and reformists. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Muslim intellectuals began to perceive international relations as a global encirclement of the Muslim world by the Christian West in an illegitimate manner.24 Similarly, East Asian intellectuals were emphasizing the conflict between the white and yellow races, while African and African-American intellectuals were emphasizing the unjust oppression of the black race internationally and domestically by the (p. 680) white race.25 The Japanese politician and journalist Konoe Atsumaro, in an article written in 1898 upon his return from Germany, predicted an inevitable racial struggle in East Asia between the white and yellow races, with the Chinese and the Japanese siding with each other as sworn enemies of the white race. It is important to emphasize that all these theories about the clash of civilizations relied on the literature of international affairs produced and read in European and American universities, and reproduced in the Western media. Thus, it is not surprising that the major pan-nationalist texts on Islam versus the West or the white-yellow race conflict were produced by Muslim or Asian thinkers who had received academic training in Europe or America. Halil Halid’s book The Crescent versus the Cross is based on a master’s thesis at Cambridge University, and Kodera Kenichi’s 1,000-page-long Treatise on Pan-Asianism is based on his PhD at George Washington University (then Columbian University).26 Similarly, a white supremacist with a PhD from Harvard, Lothrop Stoddard, was closely read and followed by pan-Islamic and pan-Asian thinkers precisely because of Stoddard’s use of categories of cultural and racial conflict in his realist writings on international affairs.27 The Arabic translation of Stoddard’s book The World of Islam contains long dissenting commentaries by the leading pan-Islamist Shakib Arslan on issues of detail, but agrees on the basic framework of interpreting world affairs as a conflict between the Muslim world and the West.28 Sun Yat-sen’s famous 1924 speech in Kobe on Great Asianism also starts with a reference to the title of Stoddard’s book, by evoking a ‘rising tide of color against the worldwide white supremacy’.29

We should not assume that pan-nationalists during the age of high imperialism, namely from the 1880s to the 1920s, were against Westernization. On the contrary, they formulated some of the most advanced theoretical reflections on why non-Westerners had to embrace European conceptions of modernity while deploying their cultural distinctiveness in an insecure world defined by imperial competition and geopolitical visions. Writings by intellectuals like Ziya Gokalp, Tokutomi Soho, Muhammad Iqbal, W. E. Dubois, or Rabindranath Tagore reflect their ambivalence as well as sophistication in rethinking the basic parameters of Eurocentric modernity in relation to nationalism, imperialism, and pan-national identities.30

Their shared experience of European imperialism while engaging European ideas of Orient-Occident or race hierarchies brought the advocates of different pan-nationalist identities together around the notion of a shared Asian-Eastern identity or global non-Western identity, and prompted their alternative form of internationalism. Pan-Asianism began to include the Islamic world via the concept of the shared destiny of non-Western Asians.31 The sympathy of pan-Asianists for pan-African thinkers prepared the ground for broader Japanese public sympathy for Ethiopians during the Italian invasion of that country in 1935, even though Italy and Japan had good diplomatic relations at that time. Similarly, W. E. B. Dubois visited Japan in 1936 partly as a product of this mutual sympathy. Meanwhile, pan-Islamists developed great interest in the fate of non-Muslim Asia and the coloured races. Initially, Japan and even China were outside the scope of the Muslim transnational imagination, as Ottoman, Iranian, and Egyptian elites saw monotheistic Christian Europeans, with whom they shared the (p. 681) Hellenistic legacy, as being closer to them than East Asians. The Asianization or Easternization of Muslim identities toward the 1890s allowed them to link the destinies of China and Japan with their own.

Anti-colonial pan-nationalists were not immune to contradictions and internalized racism: in fact, pan-Islamists like Halil Halid noted that if European racism and the civilizing mission ideology had been limited to the natives of Australia, the Caribbean, and Africa, he would not have had any objections to it.32 He was, however, noting the unacceptability of the civilizing mission ideology for Muslim, Indian, and Chinese societies, whose greatness lay in bygone civilizations and who maintained a continuing legacy of higher moral values. Many pan-nationalist intellectuals took very seriously racial thinking in the European social sciences, especially the issue of race classification in the writings of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Gustave Le Bon. Non-Western pan-nationalists generally preferred the theories of Spencer, in particular his notion of racial self-responsibility, because they could accept that in reality the coloured races were underdeveloped, but denied that this was a permanent inferiority.33 It is against the backdrop of this engagement with the European discourses about the Orient and race that the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 became a turning point in the history of pan-nationalist thought around pan-Africanism, pan-Asianism, and pan-Islamism, because it disproved all previous European discourses on the inferiority of the Asian and yellow races. In fact, the reconsideration of the scientific literature on race characteristics, to which the Japanese victory contributed immensely, would lead to the 1911 Universal Races Congress, an event that testified to the global impact of the ideas and critiques of non-Western intellectuals.34 The slogans of the ‘Awakening of the East’ or ‘awakening of the coloured races’ associated with the Russo-Japanese War are indicative of the achievements of pan-nationalist thought. Western civilization or the ‘white race’ did not have to ‘decline’ for Asia and Africa to gain liberation from Western hegemony.

Political Projects and Influences

The most significant political influence of pan-nationalist ideas was in the way they shaped the perception of international affairs by political actors. For example, the pan-Islamic perception of a modern Western imperial encirclement of the Muslim world did play a role in garnering Ottoman public support for entering the First World War on the side of Germany.35 In the aftermath of the Italian invasion of Libya, and the Balkan Wars from 1911 to 1913, many leaders of Ottoman public opinion reasoned that the diplomacy of cooperation with Western powers was not working and there was indeed a clash of civilizations. Beyond this diplomatic calculation, through which the Ottoman government secured a formal alliance with the German Empire, popular notions of pan-Islamic solidarity provided Ottoman policymakers with the vision that, upon entering the war, they could utilize the contradictions and weak points in the legitimacy of the imperial world order by encouraging Muslim disobedience, and if (p. 682) possible open revolt, against the British, French, and Russian empires. All of the European empires took this threat, epitomized by the Ottoman caliph’s declaration of jihad against them, very seriously.

Despite the Ottoman Empire’s defeat, and the emergence of Wilsonian and socialist internationalism as important alternatives during the interwar period, the pan-Islamic movement continued to play an important role in the aftermath of the First World War. In fact, as a reaction to the perceived harsh treatment of the Ottoman Empire at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, a new transnational pan-Islamic movement emerged in the form of the Khilafat Movement. Established by Indian Muslims, and supported by leading Hindu nationalists such as Mahatma Gandhi, the Khilafat Movement symbolized a paradoxical merger between the ideals of Islamic solidarity, anti-colonial nationalism, and Wilsonian notions of legitimacy. While collecting enormous sums of material donations for the Turkish War of Independence, the Khilafat Movement leaders asked the British government, the colonial rulers of India, to recognize the right to self-determination of the Muslim majority in Turkey. Ultimately, the Turkish national movement achieved its goals, partly due to moral and material support from the pan-Islamic movement. Nevertheless, the elite of the new Turkish Republic decided to abolish the caliphate and disavow its pan-Islamic claims to leadership in the Muslim world, thus indicating their own self-conscious preference for a Wilsonian and nationalist direction in the interwar international order. Turkey’s decision to abolish the caliphate ended the high moment of post-1918 pan-Islamic Realpolitik.36 The Muslim identity of the Turkish leaders and population did not change, yet the new Turkish Republic focused its energies on modernizing and Westernizing a predominantly Muslim population, which also inspired non-Turkish Muslim nationalists to take a similar path.

The Japanese Empire, as an ally of the British Empire, had no reason to flirt with pan-Asian ideas. Yet, pan-Asianist intellectuals were very active in Japan and elsewhere in Asia during the First World War, emphasizing the primacy of Western subjugation of the coloured Asian races as the main conflict in international affairs, and urging the Japanese Empire to break its alliance with Britain in order to become the natural leader of rising Asian nationalism. Although Japan’s pan-Asianists were in opposition during the war, they did conduct a successful public opinion campaign in cooperation with Asianists in China and India, underlining the continuing racial discrimination by whites even against their Japanese allies, and emphasizing that it was better for Japanese national interests to be the leader of a free Asia than to be a discriminated member of the all-white superpowers club.37 This perception of a racial war and race discrimination was partly a reason behind the Japanese government’s proposal for the abolishment of race discrimination in international affairs during the Paris Peace Conference. By securing an international legal document against race discrimination, Japanese leaders hoped to enlist more domestic support for their alliances with the Western powers and for Japan’s leadership in the establishment of a League of Nations. Pan-Asianists were not only supportive of this Japanese proposal for race equality; they also mobilized strong protests against the ‘hypocrisy’ of the League of Nations toward the coloured races when the Japanese proposal was rejected.

(p. 683) Pan-African intellectuals were also very active during the Paris Peace Conference: They not only supported the Japanese proposal, but also showed their global vision by convening their first international pan-African Congress. During the first pan-African Congress, convened by Du Bois in Paris in February 1919, fifty delegates from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States managed to put forward a proposal for the creation of a new state in Africa based on Germany’s former colonies, and asked the League of Nations to protect the rights of Africans and those of African descent in the colonies.38

During the interwar period, pan-nationalist movements had to face the challenge of a revived socialist internationalism, inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and later on backed by a powerful state in the form of the Soviet Union, as their new rival, offering a different path to overcome imperial subjugation. Initially, the Bolsheviks tried to benefit from the accumulated anti-Western sentiments of earlier pan-nationalist trends of pan-Islamism and pan-Asianism by organizing the 1920 Eastern People’s Congresses in Baku on the Caspian Sea, where leading pan-Islamic personalities such as Enver Paşa appeared.39 Yet, the Bolsheviks could not accept the idea of an alternative Eastern civilization entrenched with pan-Islamic and pan-Asian discourses, and gradually, they distanced themselves from pan-Islamic and pan-Asian movements, due to their fear that instead of using these two rival internationalisms, the Bolsheviks could become their instruments.40 With regard to pan-Africanism, however, the Comintern did have a more positive relationship of support.41

During the interwar period, the pan-African movement was represented by the growth of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) led by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant to the United States. At its height in the early 1920s, the UNIA had an estimated two million members and sympathizers, and approximately one thousand chapters in forty-three countries and territories, becoming the largest black movement in the African diaspora and the most widespread black-led movement in world history. The movement proclaimed ‘the inherent right of the Negro to possess himself of Africa’, with the goal of establishing a ‘Negro independent nation on the continent of Africa’ to which all diaspora Africans could return. Even though the UNIA goals exhibited a surprising unawareness of the diversity and multiplicity of African cultures or peoples, it did have some following in Africa, especially in South Africa.42 In addition to UNIA’s activism, cultural ideas emanating from the Caribbean and francophone West Africa in the 1920s and the 1930s, known as Negritude, became influential in creating a transnational African-black consciousness. Although it never turned into a formal organization, the Negritude cultural project emerged out of transnational African student groups with a shared colonial background, and was best represented by the achievements of Léopold Sédar Senghor (later first president of Senegal), Aimé Cesairé (author and politician from Martinique), and Léon-Gontran Damas (author and politician from French Guiana).43 Moreover, pan-Africanism was strongly influenced by the international Communist movement and Soviet-supported anti-imperialist work. Led by the Trinidadian author and journalist George Padmore, this Comintern-connected pan-African movement contributed to the international (p. 684) mobility of African nationalists and provided moral and intellectual support for the cause of decolonization. Whether exemplified by Garvey, Sengor, or Padmore, these politically active and well-connected diaspora communities contributed immensely to the formation of a new generation of nationalist leaders who challenged Western hegemony with counterclaims about Africa’s racial equality, cultural legacy, and the potential for modernization.

Pan-Asianist nationalism received great political support from the Japanese Empire during the 1930s. Japan began to demonstrate a vision of pan-Asian solidarity at this time, but only in the context of a crisis of legitimacy in the aftermath of its invasion of Manchuria in September 1931.44 Pan-Asianism was used to justify Japanese imperial rule in East Asia as a project of liberating Asia from Western rule. Japan’s call for Asian solidarity under its leadership during the late 1930s showed both the limitations and partial effectiveness of Asian identity in creating political cooperation. While some nationalists in India, Indonesia, China, and other areas cooperated with the Japanese efforts, the majority of Asian nationalists underlined the hypocrisy of Japan’s declaration of Asian solidarity when the Japanese Empire was simultaneously colonizing large territories in China and Korea. Japanese imperial propaganda about an Asian pan-nationalism did recognize the reality of self-determination of different national units and in fact, gradually, a realistic vision of a League of Asian Nations was imagined as Japan’s alternative to the Atlantic Charter and the United Nations. The Japanese Empire sponsored several instances of a Greater East Asia Conference as a coordinating intergovernmental body for Asian solidarity, while Japanese intellectual propaganda entrenched among the Japanese population a strong identity of being Asian and having a mission and responsibility within Asia.45 Indian nationalist leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose and Indonesian nationalist leaders like Sukarno cooperated with the Japanese Empire’s pan-Asian projects during the Second World War partly out of their conviction that pan-Asian solidarity represented the only viable alternative to the perpetuation of European colonial rule in Asia.

Pan-Nationalism in the Age of the United Nations

After the end of the Second World War, the Allied Powers established the United Nations, partly as their response to the challenge of anti-colonial pan-nationalist critiques. American leaders were especially cognizant of the lack of legitimacy of Western empires in Asia, and the appeal of anti-Western pan-Asianism propagated by the Japanese Empire, an assessment confirmed through reports collected by the US government’s Office of Strategic Studies during the war.46 In the new post-war context of decolonization and the emergence of new African and Asian nations, all three (p. 685) anti-colonial pan-nationalisms left their mark on post-colonial historical memory and nationalist identities during the Cold War.

The memory of imperial-era injustice of the white race against the coloured races or of Christian injustice against Muslims, emphasized by pan-Asian and pan-Islamic discourses, became part of the narratives of state-building and nationalist reconstructions in Asia. As these nationalist narratives about the imperial domination of the West over the East have been taught to new generations in post-colonial Asia, from Turkey, Egypt, and Iran to India, China, and even Japan, the memory of Western outsiders’ humiliation of the yellow race or Muslims was kept alive throughout the post-colonial period. For example, when the leaders of the newly decolonized African and Asian nations met at the Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung in 1955, their speeches and statements reflected the continuing relevance of historical memories of colonial-era cultural identities. Many delegates at the Bandung Conference advocated the solidarity of non-Western peoples against the political collectivity called the West in a new pan-Arabic and pan-Asian rhetoric. Richard Wright, who attended the conference as the only African-American journalist, expressed his astonishment at the speeches, characterizing the ideology of the conference in terms of a ‘Color Curtain’, which, in his observation, had taken precedence in Asian politics even over the ‘Iron Curtain’ of the Cold War.47 In the post-colonial period, the image of an untrustworthy and sinister West continued to exist as a trope in the intellectual histories of Asian societies, despite the fact that the international context that created this image had been radically transformed with the end of the Western empires. New post-1945 visions of Asian solidarity, associated with the names of Mao Zedung and Jawaharlal Nehru, were generally part of a broader concept of Third World solidarity and included cooperation with the newly independent African countries as well.

During the Cold War, Asian countries became politically divided into different blocs. But, especially after the Cold War, many Asian intellectuals have continued to debate new forms of potential Asian cooperation in a multipolar world where Asia could emerge as a regional power counterbalancing Europe and the United States. There are currently several international organizations, activities, and NGOs based on this Asian concept, such as the Asian Development Bank, Asian Games, the Asian News Network, the Network of Asian Think Tanks, the Asian Football Federation, et cetera. For example, international sports associations still use the continent of Asia as a single unit for tournaments and qualifications, and thus countries in two distant parts of Asia, such as Japan and Bahrain, play games with each other regularly despite the geographical distance between their countries. More importantly, the imagined connectivity and unity of a shared Asian culture or the remnant exoticism associated with it are still used by the tourism industry to promote travel to different parts of Asia. For example, the Japanese tourist industry revived a certain level of nostalgic Asian identity in special Silk Road tours from the 1970s onwards, while trips to Turkey are being presented as seeing the other end of Asia. Finally, the concept of Asia appeared in the Asian-American identity of various diaspora communities living the United States. While Asian-American identity was used and recognized, facilitating communication (p. 686) and interactions among various communities originating from different parts of Asia, in reality the stark diversity of Asian-American communities created sharply different diaspora cultures, experiences, and organizations in the United States, ranging from Chinese Americans to Americans of Indian, Vietnamese, or Korean descents.

The Second World War had a more profound impact on the decolonization of Africa. When the fifth pan-African Congress gathered in Manchester in 1945, the leadership was handed from the diaspora community to the actual leaders of new nationalism on the African continent such as Kwame Nkrumah. After Nkrumah became the first prime minister of independent Ghana, he declared that ‘the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent’.48 It was on this mid-twentieth-century stage, when intellectuals born in Africa took more leading roles in pan-African thought, that a race-based African identity was challenged in favour of a more geographical, continental idea of African identity and solidarity that included North African Arabs. When post-colonial African leaders such as Nkrumah and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt established the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, they defined the scope of the organization according to the continental boundaries, though the idea of African unity continued to include those ‘blacks’ whose ancestors had left the continent as traded slaves. African diaspora continued to be engaged in pan-African ideals, best evidenced by the fact that W. E. B. Dubois himself lived and died in independent Ghana. Moreover, in the process of the decolonization of Africa, especially during the Algerian Revolution (1954–62), the idea of free Africa turned into a powerful transnational concept, and pan-Africanist diaspora intellectuals such as Frantz Fanon helped shape the content of global post-colonial thought. The Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955 became a symbol of this post-colonial moment, which was then followed by the prominent role of African countries in the Non-Aligned Movement.

The OAU did encourage further decolonization of the continent and played a significant role in mediating border disputes. But, in the various Cold War conflicts in Africa, it became highly divided. During the 1970s the OAU did not play any important role or function in African affairs, when decolonized Africa plunged into problems of nation-building and competing ideologies in highly diverse experiences of reform. While pan-Africanism today may have lost much of its political influence, it could be said that, for much of the twentieth century, the very complex and diverse pan-Africanist networks played a crucial role in the decolonization of the African continent and in the transnational imagination of both the African diaspora’s civil-rights movements and national movements on the African continent.

In the post-1945 period, pan-Islamism seemed very weak and irrelevant, while pan-Arabism emerged as a subset of earlier pan-Islamic identity around a more secular language and culture-based pan-nationalism, which could incorporate both the reality of sovereign nation states and the nationalist feelings of Christian Arab populations.49 Although the roots of the idea of Arab unity can be traced back to the British-backed Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, and interwar secular Arab nationalism, the first significant pan-Arab organization was the League of (p. 687) Arab States established in 1945 in Cairo with the participation of six Arab states (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon). With the process of decolonization, the number of members in the Arab League reached twenty by the 1980s. Beyond the intragovernmental activities of the Arab League, the idea of pan-Arabism gained great popularity with the presidency of Nasser in Egypt. Especially during the decade from the time of the Suez Crisis in 1956 to the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, Nasser became identified with the hopes of pan-Arab solidarity, as someone who could lead the Arab world to end the long period of colonial humiliation, and as a leader who could bring about both modernization and political dignity. Pan-Arabism was incorporated as a principle of foreign policy in almost all the Arab nationalist ideologies in the 1950s and the 1960s, expressing hope that with efficient coordination, Arab populations could use their own resources to reach higher levels of economic development while achieving full political independence from Western domination and Israeli threats. In 1958, at the request of the Syrian leaders to Nasser, Egypt and Syria formed a pan-Arab union, called the United Arab Republic. Although there were hopes of adding more countries to this unity, the United Arab Republic did not survive beyond 1961, when Syria left the Union after complaints about Egyptian policies towards Syria. The Algerian War of Liberation and the Palestinian struggle kept the desires and activism around pan-Arab solidarity very much alive. After Nasser’s defeat in 1967 against Israel, however, early high hopes for pan-Arab solidarity gradually faded away and pan-Arabism lost its momentum, especially when President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt signed a separate peace treaty with Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel in 1979.

While the Arab League continued its activities in encouraging cooperation among Arab countries, a broader notion of Islamic solidarity was revived both in its ideological versions in various Islamist ideologies and in general public opinion during the 1970s. When the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was established in 1971 as an international organization of Muslim solidarity, all Arab countries became members of this new organization as well. Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the Afghan resistance to Soviet Invasion during the 1980s, strengthened the transnational ideal of Muslim solidarity including but also extending beyond the Arab world. Currently, the OIC has fifty-seven members and in some vague manner represents a form of intergovernmental pan-Islamic cooperation. However, both the Arab League and the OIC are rather weak international organizations, falling far behind the ideological expectations of pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism. For all practical purposes, the post-1945 settlement in a world order aimed at sovereign nation states, with easy membership access to the UN and a set of international norms, prevented any feasible notion of pan-nationalist mergers. In terms of alternative ideologies, however, pan-Islamism is espoused by a strand of new Islamist ideologies all over the Muslim world, although they have yet to create any visible result beyond condemnations of Muslim humiliation by the West and discrimination against Muslims in international affairs. Organizations like al-Qaida appeal to this historical memory of humiliation and pan-Islamic identity, yet they are devoid of any truly significant social support and a firm base in Muslim societies.

(p. 688) Conclusion

A brief overview of the three pan-nationalist trends of thought around African, Islamic, and Asian identities shows that pan-nationalism became possible as part of globalizing discourses during the high age of imperialism from the 1880s to the 1920s. This was a period of imperialism-driven globalization that facilitated a truly worldwide debate on the division of humanity into developed and underdeveloped, whites and coloured, or belonging to different cultural legacies. It is in this context that a set of racial, transnational, and cultural categories of knowledge, mostly Eurocentric in their basic outline, became globally diffused, gradually inspiring pan-nationalist identities, intellectual visions, and political projects. During the high age of globalization and colonial expansion, when nationalism itself was merely in a formative period compared with strong imperial visions, there did emerge a set of shared themes and ideas characterizing transnational Asian, Muslim, and African thinking about the conditions of the societies and peoples concerned, especially in their relationship to the imperialism of the imagined unit identified as the West. The fact that a transnational identity of ‘Muslim’, ‘Asian’, or ‘African’ emerged by the turn of the twentieth century indicates a process of ‘geopolitization of globalization’, as a result of which mainstream thinking about world politics involved pan-nationalist categories of knowledge. The appeal of pan-Islamic, pan-Asian, and pan-African ideas for both nationalist movements and various empires of that time demonstrate the power of transnational identities associated with this new geopolitical thinking.

By examining their genesis, content, and legacies, this chapter has emphasized that we should see the three forms of pan-nationalism discussed primarily as a narrative about the moral foundations of the globalized imperial world order from the 1870s to the late 1940s. As the Eurocentric imperial order relied on a meta-narrative of the superiority of Christian and white Europeans over the rest of humanity, the challenge to its legitimacy has to offer its own alternative narratives, which often were and had to be pan-nationalist. The long-lasting legacy and impact of the intellectual content of such pan-nationalist projects are often overlooked as scholarly and non-scholarly literature tends to focus on the non-viability and failure of the various political projects of Asian, Islamic, or African solidarity. Even though what came after the imperial world order was something unexpected for the anti-colonial nationalists who espoused a pan-nationalist vision of solidarity, their counter-narratives of Islamic, Asian, and African civilization contributed to the erosion of imperial legitimacy and speeded the decolonization process. Any history of pan-nationalism has to consider its achievements as a challenge to the imperial-racial world order even if the system of nation-state sovereignty that emerged in the post-1945 period rendered projects of pan-nationalist polity impractical.

Pan-Asian, pan-Islamic, and pan-African ideas evolved in relation to the structural transformation in the international order through the two World Wars, a transformation (p. 689) to which they contributed greatly. While pan-Asianism, pan-Islamism, and pan-Africanism developed as strong intellectual currents dealing with issues of history, racism, and cultural identity, they also contributed to the decolonization of Asia and Africa by challenging the moral foundations of the imperial world order. The practical political projects of Asian, Islamic, and African solidarity did not reach a level that advocates of these pan-nationalisms hoped for. Yet, in terms of eroding the legitimacy of an uneven and imperial international order based on colonial hegemony and race discrimination, these three pan-nationalisms left their mark on the modern global history of decolonization. Moreover, they encouraged and strengthened broader intra-Asian, intra-African, and intra-Islamic sympathies, a kind of Third World consciousness throughout Asia and Africa, for example, that allowed Chinese intellectuals to feel closer to Turks in their War of Independence, and Turkish and Iranian nationalists to exhibit sympathies for Chinese and Indian nationalists. The narratives of history and culture produced by pan-nationalists such as W. E. B. Dubois, Jamaladdin Al-Afghani, Okakura Tenshin, and many others also inspired and solidified the universalist aspirations of nationalism, exemplifying the close ties between anti-colonial nationalist thought and various pan-nationalist ideals. On an intellectual and emotional level, there is still a strong belief in the shared narratives of Islamic, African, and Asian history, as well as in the identities sustained by the notion of particular Islamic, African, and Asian values. Thus, it should not be surprising to witness the legacies and persistence of pan-nationalist ideas through the period of decolonization and the Cold War up to the present day.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Aydin, C. (2007) The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought, New York.Find this resource:

    Duara, P. (2001) ‘The Discourse of Civilization and Pan-Asianism’, Journal of World History, 12, no. 1 (Spring), 99–130.Find this resource:

      Eckert, A. (2007) ‘Bringing the “Black Atlantic” into Global History: The Project of Pan-Africanism’, in S. Conrad and D. Sachsenmaier (eds.) Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s–1930, ed. S. Conrad and D. Sachsenmaier, New York, 237–57.Find this resource:

        Esedebe, P. O. (1994) Pan-Africanism: The Idea and Movement, 1776–1991, Washington, DC.Find this resource:

          Geiss, I. (1974) The Pan-African Movement, London.Find this resource:

            Griffith, C. E. (1975) The African Dream: Martin Delany and the Emergence of Pan-African Thought, University Park, PA.Find this resource:

              Halid, H. (1907) The Crescent versus the Cross, London.Find this resource:

                Hotta, E. (2007) Pan-Asianism and Japan’s War, 1931–1945, New York.Find this resource:

                  Karl, R. (2002) Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Durham, NC.Find this resource:

                    (p. 693) Landau, J. M. (1990) The Politics of Pan-Islam: Ideology and Organization, Oxford.Find this resource:

                      Özcan, A. (1997) Pan-Islamism: Indian Muslims, the Ottomans and Britain (1877–1924), Leiden.Find this resource:

                        Reid, A. (1967) ‘Nineteenth-Century Pan-Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia’, Journal of Asian Studies, 26, no. 2 (February), 275–6.Find this resource:

                          Saaler, S. and Koschmann, V. (eds.) (2007) Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History: Colonialism, Regionalism and Borders, London.Find this resource:

                            Wilder, G. (2005) The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism between the Two World Wars, Chicago and London.Find this resource:

                              Wright, R. (1995) The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference, Jackson, MI.Find this resource:


                                (1.) L. Snyder (1984) Macro-Nationalisms: A History of the Pan-Movements, Westport, CT, 5

                                (2.) For an example of intellectual, cultural, and economic networks among Muslim societies of the fourteenth century, without any Pan-Islamic identity, see R. E. Dunn (2008) The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century, Berkeley, CA; For the importance of empires in world history, see T. Hopkins (1999) ‘Back to the Future: From National History to Imperial History,’ Past & Present, 164, no. 1, 198–243.

                                (3.) For the importance of imperial cooperation in the first half of the nineteenth-century international order, see E. Weitz (2008) ‘From the Vienna to the Paris System: International Politics and the Entangled Histories of Human Rights, Forced Deportations, and Civilizing Missions’, American Historical Review, 113, no. 5, 1313–43; see also S. Deringil (2003) ‘“They Live in a State of Nomadism and Savagery”: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Post-Colonial Debate’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 45, no. 2, 311–42.

                                (4.) R. Jaffe (2004) ‘Seeking Sakyamuni: Travel and the Reconstruction of Japanese Buddhism’, Journal of Japanese Studies, 30, no. 1 (Winter), 65–96.

                                (5.) C. Aydin (2007) The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought, New York, ch. 2.

                                (6.) A. Eckert (2007) ‘Bringing the “Black Atlantic” into Global History: The Project of Pan-Africanism’, in Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s–1930, eds. S. Conrad and D. Sachsenmaier, New York, 237–57.

                                (7.) For a formulation of a universal theory of civilization by the most prominent early Meiji-era intellectual, see F. Yukichi (1973) An Outline of a Theory of Civilization, Bunmeiron no Gairyaku, trans. D. A. Dilworth and G. C. Hurst, Tokyo. For the broader Ottoman context of Westernization during the nineteenth century, see S. Hanioglu (2008) A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire, Princeton, NJ.

                                (8.) For aspects of the Ottoman civilizing mission to its own populations, in the form of reapplying European Orientalism for domestic political purposes, see U. Makdisi (2002) ‘Ottoman Orientalism,’ American Historical Review, 107, no. 3, 768–96. For the Japanese version of the same process, see S. Tanaka (1993) Japan’s Orient: Rendering Past into History, Berkeley, CA.

                                (9.) N. Keddie (1968) An Islamic Response to Imperialism, Berkeley, CA.

                                (10.) V. Tikhonov (2002) ‘Korea’s First Encounters with Pan-Asianism Ideology in the Early 1880s’, The Review of Korean Studies, 5, no. 2 (December), 195–232.

                                (11.) K. A. Appiah (1999) ‘Pan-Africanism’, in K. A. Appiah and H. L. Gates Jr. (eds.) Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, New York, 1485.

                                (12.) For a profile of a early twentieth-century Pan-Asianist organization, composed of Japanese, Chinese, and Indian members, that saw the Muslims as alien invaders of Asia, see R. Karl (1998) ‘Creating Asia: China in the World at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century’, American Historical Review, 103, no. 4 (October), 1096–118.

                                (13.) See E. Hotta (2007) Pan-Asianism and Japan’s War, 1931–1945, New York, 49.

                                (14.) A. Zimmerman (2005) ‘A German Alabama in Africa: The Tuskegee Expedition to German Togo and the Transnational Origins of West African Cotton Growers’, American Historical Review, 110, 1362–98.

                                (15.) C. V. Findley (1998) ‘An Ottoman Occidentalist in Europe: Ahmed Midhat Meets Madame Gulnar, 1889’, American Historical Review, 103, no. 1, 15–49.

                                (16.) J. Snodgrass (2003) Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Columbian Exposition, Chapel Hill, NC.

                                (17.) P. O. Esedebe (1994) Pan-Africanism: The Idea and Movement, 1776–1991, Washington, DC.

                                (18.) For a broader world-historical assessment of E. Renan’s ideas on Aryan race, see V. Kaiwar (2003) ‘The Aryan Model of History and the Oriental Renaissance: The Politics of Identity in an Age of Revolutions, Colonialism and Nationalism’, in S. Mazumdar and V. Kaiwar (eds.) The Antinomies of Modernity, Durham, NC, 13–61.

                                (19.) M. Adas (1989) Machines as the Measure of Man: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance, Ithaca, NY, 11–12.

                                (20.) Renan gave his speech on ‘Islam and Science’ in 29 March 1883 at the Sorbonne, and published it in the 30 March 1883 issue of Journal des Debates. Later that same year, the speech was published as a 24-page-long separate booklet. For its English-language translation, see E. Renan, ‘Islamism and Science’, in B. S. Turner (ed.) (2000) Orientalism: Early Sources, Volume I: Readings in Orientalism, London and New York, 199–217.

                                (21.) N. K. Bey (2002) ‘Islamiyet ve Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmaniye Hakkinda Doğru bir Söz: Cenevre’de Müsteşrikin Kongresi’nde İrad Olunmuş bir Nutkun Tercümesidir’, in Ismail Kara (ed.) Hifet Risaleleri 1, Istanbul, 353–71. For the French version of the paper presented at the Congress, see N. K. Bey (1894) ‘Vérité sur l’Islamisme et l’Empire Ottoman’, Présentée au X. Congrés International des Orientalistes a Genève, Paris.

                                (22.) J. E. Ketelaar (1990) Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan, Princeton, NJ, 136–220.

                                (23.) J. E. Casely Hayford (1911; 1969) Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Relations, London.

                                (24.) H. Halid (1907) The Crescent versus the Cross, London.

                                (25.) Tokutomi Sohô (1863–1957) advocated the term ‘Yellow Man’s Burden’, giving voice to an alternative to the idea of ‘The White Man’s Burden’ (based on Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem of 1899). See H. Sukehiro (1987) ‘Modernizing Japan in Comparative Perspective’, Comparative Studies of Culture, no. 26, 29.

                                (26.) A Pan-Islamist Ottoman who published extensively in England about issues of the Muslim World, H. Halid studied and taught at Cambridge University. See S. T. Wasti (1993) ‘Halil Halid: Anti-Imperialist Muslim Intellectual’, Middle Eastern Studies, 29, no. 3 (July), 559–79. For Halil Halid’s own autobiography, see H. Halid (1903) The Diary of a Turk, London. Similarly, the first comprehensive book on Pan-Asianism was written by a Japanese graduate of Columbian College of Law in Washington, DC, around the turn of the century: K. Kenkichi (1916) Dai Ajiashugi Ron, Tokyo.

                                (27.) L. Stoddard (1921) The New World of Islam, New York.

                                (28.) For its Arabic translation, see L. Stûdard (1924) Hadir al-Alam al-Islami, trans. ‘Ajjâj Nuwayhid, ed. al-Amîr Shakîb Arslân, Cairo. For the Ottoman translation of the same work (1922), Yeni Alem-i Islam, trans. A. R. Seyfi, Istanbul.

                                (29.) For a good sourcebook and evaluation of Sun Yat-sen’s speech in Kobe on Pan-Asianism in 1924, see C. Tokujin and Y. Sankichi (eds.) (1989) Sonbun Kôen Dai Ajia Shugi Shiryôshû: 1924 nen, 11 Gatsu Nihon to Chûgoku no Kiro, Kyoto. In this talk, Sun Yat-sen refers to L. Stoddard’s (1920) The Rising Tide of Color Against the White World Supremacy, New York.

                                (30.) See A. Davison (2006) ‘Ziya Gokalp and Provincializing Europe’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 26, no. 3, 377–90.

                                (31.) For the development of a shared Eastern identity in different parts of Asia around the turn of the century, see R. Karl (2002) Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Durham, NC. For the development of cooperation between Japanese Asianists and Muslim activists around the notion of shared Eastern identity, see S. Esenbel (2004) ‘Japan’s Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945’, The American Historical Review, 109, no. 4 (October), 1140–70.

                                (32.) H. Halid (1907) Hilal ve Salib Münazaasi, Cairo, 185–8.

                                (33.) See Chapter 14 by Rana Mitter in this volume.

                                (34.) R. J. Holton (2002) ‘Cosmopolitanism or Cosmopolitanisms? The Universal Races Congress of 1911’, Global Network, 2 (April), 153–70. For a recent reassessment of the London Universal Races Congress of 1911, see the special Forum section in Radical History Review, 92 (Spring 2005), 92–132.

                                (35.) M. Aksakal (2008) The Ottoman Road to WWI: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War, Cambridge.

                                (36.) For examples of the post-WWI Pan-Islamic movement and its ideas, see S. M. H. Kidwai (1919) The Future of the Muslim Empire: Turkey, London; and (1919) The Sword against Islam or a Defence of Islam’s Standard-Bearers, London, 1919. G. Minault (1982) The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India, New York.

                                (37.) T. Das (1917) Is Japan a Menace to Asia?, Shanghai; and (1918) An Asian Statesman: The Isolation of Japan in World Politics, Tokyo.

                                (38.) S. A. Adejumobi (2001) ‘The Pan-African Congress’, in Nina Mjagkij (ed.) Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations, New York.

                                (39.) J. Riddell (ed.) (1993) To See the Dawn: Baku, 1920: First Congress of the Peoples of the East, New York.

                                (40.) For the separation between communism and Pan-Islamism, see T. Malaka (2001) ‘Communism and Pan-Islamism’, in What Next: Marxist Discussion Journal, no. 21, which can be found at the following web link: <>.

                                (41.) G. Padmore (1956) Pan-Africanism or Communism: The Coming Struggle for Africa, London. Ho Chi Minh’s biography illustrates the appeal of both Woodrow Wilson’s principle of self-determination and socialist internationalism. See M. Bradley (2000) Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919–1950, Chapel Hill, NC. See also Chapter 32 by John Schwartzmantel in this volume.

                                (42.) R. Lewis (1988) Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion, Tenton.

                                (43.) G. Wilder (2005) The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism between the Two World Wars, Chicago, IL, and London.

                                (44.) See Chapter 14 by Rana Mitter in this volume.

                                (45.) For a recent assessment of Pan-Asianism during the 1930s, see Hotta, Pan-Asianism and Japan’s War, and also Sven Saaler and Victor Koschmann (eds.) (2007) Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History: Colonialism, Regionalism and Borders, London. It is important to note that Nazi Germany did not appeal to Pan-Islamic notions of solidarity during WWII—a big contrast to Imperial Germany’s Pan-Islamic propaganda during WWI.

                                (46.) C. Thorne (1978) Allies of a Kind: The United States, Britain and the War Against Japan, 1941–1945, New York, 157–9.

                                (47.) R. Wright (1995) The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference, Jackson, MI.

                                (48.) D. Birmingham (1998) Kwame Nkrumah: Father of African Nationalism, Athens, OH.

                                (49.) See in this volume Chapter 11 by Aviel Roshwald on nationalism in the Middle East up to 1945 and Chapter 22 by Fred Halliday on Arab nationalism after 1945.