The genesis of the Italian concession in Tianjin: a combination of wishful thinking and realpolitik

Marinelli, Maurizio (2010) The genesis of the Italian concession in Tianjin: a combination of wishful thinking and realpolitik. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 15 (4). pp. 536-566. ISSN 1354-571X

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This essay focuses on the genesis of the sole Italian concession in China (1900–1901), which was ceded to the newly unified Italian state by the Qing dynasty. The concession was located in the Hebei district of the modern municipality of Tianjin, and constituted the only example of Italian colonialism in Asia. Through the analysis of documents pertaining to the acquisition of the concession, within the context of the Italian foreign policy at the time, the essay demonstrates that this was, ultimately, a military occupation. The essay investigates the rationale behind the evident dichotomy between the defenders (who envisaged the concession as a unique opportunity to affirm Italy's prestige on a global geopolitical scale) vis-à-vis the detractors (who saw the settlement as an ‘enterprise of dubious utility’ and suggested its withdrawal). The prevailing motives determined by a mixture of wishful thinking and realpolitik, are also evident in the discrepancy in the reflection of the actual conditions of the occupied territory, as it emerges from the Italian vis-à-vis the Chinese sources, with regards to the ‘inconveniences’, which required an urgent solution in order to utilize the territory.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG History of Italy > DG011 Ancient Italy. Rome to 476 > DG051 Local history and description > DG059 Regions outside of Italy, A-Z
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV0001 Colonies and colonisation
Depositing User: Fiona Allan
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2013 10:21
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 10:21
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