文章摘要
[美]内森•J. 西蒂诺/著,袁 剑/译,刘玺鸿/译.全球边疆:美国对外关系中的比较史与边疆研究路径[J].民族学刊,2019,10(2):27-40, 102-104
全球边疆:美国对外关系中的比较史与边疆研究路径
The Global Frontier: Comparative History and the Frontier-Borderlands Approach in American Foreign Relations
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.02.03
中文关键词: 美国  全球边疆  对外关系
英文关键词: America  global frontier  foreign relations  comparative
基金项目:
作者单位
[美]内森•J. 西蒂诺/著 美国莱斯大学历史系 
袁 剑/译 中央民族大学民族学与社会学学院 
刘玺鸿/译 中央民族大学民族学与社会学学院 
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中文摘要:
      长期以来,美国对外关系研究的新路径并没有对例外论者的假设构成挑战,同时也无法对全球范围内的美国经验提供一个比较视角。最近开展的边地(borderland)和边疆(frontier)研究则为历史学家提供了一个深入到文化遭遇、文化认同转变以及国家政治边缘的富有价值的视角,并可以对周边地区的人力和自然资源如何整合到更大的经济交换体系这一过程进行分析。在对边疆研究的域外经验与实践进行系统梳理之后,本文指出,有必要将边疆路径引入美国对外关系研究的领域,这样不仅有助于相关研究的推进,而且能够突破特纳理论的局限,进而更全面地看待包括当代跨国市场等在内的美国的内部发展与海外扩张历程。
英文摘要:
      Historians of American foreign relations would seemingly be well positioned to offer a cutting-edge historical interpretation of Fordlandia to match the brilliance of Sguiglia’s literary treatment. Persistent calls for methodological innovation, ranging in tone from philippic to jeremiad, have prompted scholars to introduce race, culture, ideology, postmodernism, literary criticism, and gender into their analyses. They have studied non-state actors and marginalized groups and borrowed from political science, cultural studies, and other disciplines. But in general, these new approaches to U. S. foreign relations neither challenge the exceptionalist assumptions that have for so long been associated with the field nor provide comparative perspective on the American experience in the world. Recent scholarship on borderlands and frontiers, however, offers historians valuable insights into the nature of cultural encounters and shifting cultural identities, the fringes of states’ political authority, and the integration of the human and natural resources of peripheral areas into larger systems of economic exchange. Fordlandia serves as a case study of these phenomena, one in which distinctly American notions of Manifest Destiny played an important role, as well as of larger patterns in global history that shaped the continental development and overseas expansion of the United States. The diverse group of historians, anthropologists, and area specialists who study borderlands and frontiers do not simply offer scholars of U. S. foreign relations another category of analysis to add to their repertoire. As some historians have already discovered, their approaches point the way toward a transnational history of the United States encompassing both the unique aspects of the American experience and a global, comparative context that enriches our understanding of U. S. history. Defining “frontier” and “borderland” is a daunting challenge to say the least, given the myriad cases to which scholars have applied these two terms. Frederick Jackson Turner, whose well-known thesis is a fixture of diplomatic historians’ lectures, replaced the European concept of frontier as national boundary with his account of the North American frontier as “the meeting point between savagery and civilization.” Though criticism of Turner’s ethnocentrism has been nearly universal, and some scholars have questioned his portrayal of the frontier as coming to a close by the 1890s, others have retained his emphasis on cultural encounter within a shifting political geography. In their comparison of the United States and South Africa, for example, Leonard Thompson and Howard Lamar define a frontier “not as a boundary or line, but as a territory or zone of interpenetration between two previously distinct societies.” Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron have conceived the North American frontier as “a meeting place of peoples in which geographic and cultural borders were not clearly defined.” Such definitions therefore minimize the importance of the state, whose “sharp edge of sovereignty” had been synonymous with the earlier meaning of “frontier”. Adelman and Aron distinguish the frontier from “borderlands,” which they regard as “contested boundaries between colonial domains” in North America. Indeed, the term “borderland” can implicitly reinforce the primacy of the state, either by designating the geographic arena for political rivalry among states or by referring to land both claimed by a state and adjacent to an acknowledged boundary. Any attempt to hash out an elusive distinction between “frontiers” and “borderlands” based upon North American history alone risks on the one hand perpetuating exceptionalist assumptions about the development of the United States and on the other suggesting that the American experience with frontiers and borderlands is somehow definitive. In this essay, these two concepts are deliberately conflated to describe a broad approach to studying relations between different peoples that regards official diplomacy among sovereign states as only one element in a range of contacts encompassing cultural interaction, economic exchange, human migrations, and environmental transformation. Far from suggesting the irrelevance of the state, the frontier-borderlands approach strives for a sophisticated understanding of state power by investigating the degree to which states are successful in expanding their boundaries, imposing their political control over outlying territories, and even defining the identities of those over whom governments claim authority. Such themes, though central to the story of American continental and overseas expansion, were hardly unique to it. In fact, their prevalence across a variety of historical contexts invites comparison and offers a powerful challenge to American exceptionalism. For those in American foreign relations, it is most profitable to consider the comparative possibilities of the frontier-borderlands approach by examining how scholars working in other fields have used it. For U. S. historians, “frontier” and “borderlands” denote particular research specialties. Turner has remained the touchstone for the study of the American frontier West, even as his thesis has sustained successive waves of revision, most recently in the form of a New Western History that has challenged his celebratory account of Anglo-American settlement and greatly expanded the types of actors and subjects considered part of Western history. Herbert E. Bolton, Turner’s student, applied his mentor’s thesis to the parts of northern New Spain incorporated into the territory of the United States and, in the words of one scholar, “virtually created the Spanish borderlands as a field of professional history.” Historians of U. S. foreign relations would do well to build on comparative themes developed by colleagues working in these two fields — to begin exploring the global frontier, as it were, in their own backyard. While Turner set regional history in a national context and moved the frontier to the center of American life, these historians connect the West to changes in the capitalist world system and highlight the historical passage of the United States from the economic periphery to the core. These perspectives bring frontier history to the doorstep of the American foreign relations field, which has associated the periphery-to-core evolution with expanding foreign interests and with a paradigm shift to a “new” diplomacy, one in which the federal government helped to facilitate overseas economic expansion just as it had shaped the economic and political development of the western frontier. Although diplomatic historians have made productive use of Turner’s thesis and subsequent literature on continental expansion to understand American foreign relations, they have yet to employ a comparative approach to escape Bemis’s exceptionalism in the way that Western historians have to challenge Turner’s. Recent scholarship has looked beyond Bolton’s work to the postcolonial United States and Mexico, whose intertwined histories challenge assumptions of sovereignty and independence so central to each country’s national mythology. Andrés Reséndez has reinterpreted the history of the borderlands during the Mexican-American War by “paying attention to how the Mexican and the American national projects collided there and how conflicts played out at the local level.” Reséndez examines the use of rituals and political symbolism in American and Mexican claims to borderlands territory and explains how local groups responded to such appeals on the basis of self-interest. Reséndez uses New Mexico as a case study for his approach and shows that while local Spanish-speaking officers and merchants acquiesced in annexation to protect their economic interests, Pueblo Indians resisted out of opposition to further land expropriation by Anglos. Colonel Stephen W. Kearny therefore marched into Santa Fe unopposed in 1846, but soon faced rebellion from Taos Pueblos. Lisabeth Haas’s study of California examines the persistence of Native American identities despite conquest by the Spanish in the eighteenth century, the ascendancy of local Californios who defied Mexico City and obstructed Indian emancipation during the period of Mexican independence, and conquest again by the Americans in the mid-nineteenth century. Rival state building enterprises have therefore shaped the history of the borderlands since the retreat of European empires, and scholars are increasingly focusing on how these enterprises appeared to different local populations. Certain scholars have combined expertise on the American West and non-U. S. areas into a transnational perspective that situates the United States within the patterns of global economic integration. While comparing the American West to other frontiers, these historians regard the North American conquest and the extension of U. S. economic hegemony over peripheral regions of the globe as elements of a single historical process. William H. McNeill places the frontier at the center of world history by rehabilitating Webb’s Great Frontier concept, though, unlike Webb, McNeill addresses the experiences of Native Americans by portraying U. S. history as an “extreme case of contact and collision between societies at different levels of skill.” McNeill regards technological disparities between cultures as the “principal drive wheel of historical change,” a factor that helps to explain why frontiers are not always the egalitarian settings of Turner’s thesis. When cash-cropping or extractive industries are involved, frontiers are more likely to yield a “social hierarchy steeper than anything familiar in Europe.” Robert Vitalis notes that exceptionalist ideologies justified exploitation of both the North American mineral frontier of the nineteenth century and the eastern Arabian oil frontier of the twentieth, succeeding instances in which U. S. corporations managed extractive enterprises and presided over racial hierarchies. Whereas Manifest Destiny sanctified American expansion into the trans-Mississippi West, Wahhabi Islam stamped God’s imprimatur on Saudi custodianship of Arabia’s petroleum, a claim the Saudis advanced with the help of the Arabian-American Oil Company’s public relations department and the western novelist Wallace Stegner. Paul Sabin has identified similarities among oil frontiers in Alaska, Ecuador, and elsewhere not as parallel case studies, but as sharing a “direct lineage between earlier American Wests and later developments” linked by common patterns of corporate expansion, missionary activity, and environmental transformation. For Sabin, the story of the West is a transnational epic that cannot be contained within political boundaries, just as frontier history cannot properly be the exclusive domain of either Western or diplomatic historians.
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