Yeah, this is new to me as well. A new wrinkle on the Cargo Cult phenomenon.
Who in their right mind would willingly invite a foreign ruler into one's mild and pleasant land?
WTF?The Stranger King theory offers a framework to understand global colonialism. It seeks to explain the apparent ease whereby many indigenous peoples subjugated themselves to an alien colonial power and places state formation by colonial powers within the continuum of earlier, similar but indigenous processes.
It highlights the imposition of colonialism not as the result of the breaking of the spirit of local communities by brute force, or as reflecting an ignorant peasantry's acquiescence in the lies of its self-interested leaders, but as a people's rational and productive acceptance of an opportunity offered.
The theory was developed by Marshall Sahlins in the Pacific region and is described by David Henley using the North Sulawesi region in Indonesia as his prime case study. The Stranger King theory suggests similarities and divergences between pre-colonial and colonial processes of state-formation enabling to build with insight on the historiography of the colonial transition in the Asia-Pacific part of the world.
It's like this:
Nice. Your culture/government is so fucked up and dysfunctional that only a colonial power can come in and equalize things.The Stranger King theory argues that many indigenous peoples accepted the imposition of foreign colonial influence, i.e. the Stranger King, as a means of conflict resolution. In doing so, the Stranger King theory challenges binary oppositions of ‘tradition versus modernity’ and ‘nationalism versus imperialism’ paradigms and it places state formation by colonial powers within the continuum of earlier, similar but indigenous processes.
It reminds me of the scene in Lawrence of Arabia where he is neither of one tribe nor another, so he is the perfect person to perform the execution.