New College of Florida Hires Anti-Woke Prof With a History of Triggering the Left

2024-03-09 10:30:29

New College of Florida Hires Professor Who Champions Colonialism

Nearly seven years ago, the journal Third World Quarterly’s publication of “The Case for Colonialism” caused an uproar among scholars. The piece both defended colonialism’s past and called for its return. Critics called it shoddy, offensive work.

The essay, by Portland State University’s Bruce Gilley, advocated for “governments and peoples in developing countries to replicate as far as possible the colonial governance of their pasts.” He wrote that “the ‘good governance’ agenda, which contains too many assumptions about the self-governing capacity of poor countries, should be replaced with the ‘colonial governance’ agenda.”

A second way to “reclaim colonialism,” Gilley wrote, “is to recolonize some regions. Western countries should be encouraged to hold power in specific governance areas (public finances, say, or criminal justice) in order to jump-start enduring reforms in weak states.” Thirdly, he added, “it may be possible to build new Western colonies from scratch.” He did say colonialism could return “only with the consent of the colonized.”

Fifteen members of Third World Quarterly’s editorial board resigned and called for retracting the piece, saying it had been rejected by three peer reviewers before being published anyway as a “Viewpoints” essay.

The article was published in September 2017. By the end of that month, Gilley, a politics and global affairs professor, was himself calling for its retraction. “I regret the pain and anger that it has caused for many people,” he said in a statement. “I hope that this action will allow a more civil and caring discussion on this important issue to take place.” The journal removed the essay from its website, citing threats of violence to its then editor.

But people can still read it online. The conservative National Association of Scholars republished the piece in its journal in 2018, and Gilley reversed course and defended it in another essay called “How the Hate Mob Tried to Silence Me.” This past November, he published a book, again titled The Case for Colonialism, answering his critics and expanding on his claims.

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New College of Florida Hires Anti-Woke Prof With a History of Triggering the Left


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