Global perspectives on Welsh Patagonia: The complexities of being both colonizer and colonized

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The nationalist Welsh colony in Patagonia, Y Wladfa, offers a peripheral vantage point from which to reconsider core assumptions about settler colonialism and the British World. Taking a fresh approach to settler colonial studies, this article both pays close attention to settler motives before embarkation and also analyses the case from a global perspective. It foregrounds the role of unequal power relations in Britain, the British World, and the global arena in shaping social relations at home and in the colony, as well as locating Y Wladfa within a constellation of Welsh sites and influences around the world. Analysis reveals the Welsh to occupy a complex position within such global hierarchies, and to be colonizing Patagonia from a colonized position. As such, this case at the margins of settler power reveals important ambiguities, tensions, and affinities that challenge assumptions in settler colonial theory, and open spaces that might enrich and deepen analysis of this fundamentally global relationship of power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-468
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Global History
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2018


  • British World
  • Indigenous societies
  • Patagonia
  • Settler colonialism
  • Wales


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