The nation-state is a fairly recent historical phenomenon. Human history over the past two to four millennia has been dominated by empires, and the legacies of these empires continues to shape the contemporary world in ways that are not always recognised or fully understood. Much research and writing about European colonial empires has focused on relations between them and their colonies. This book examines the phenomenon of empire from a different perspective. It explores the imprint that imperial institutions, organisational principles, practices, and logics have left on the modern world. It shows that many features of the contemporary world - modern armies, multiculturalism, globalised finance, modern city-states, the United Nations - have been profoundly shaped by past empires. It also applies insights about the impact of past empires to contemporary politics and considers the long-term institutional legacies of the American 'empire'.
Sandra Halperin is Professor of International Relations and co-director of the Centre for Global and Transnational Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of three cross-regional and trans-historical comparative studies: In the Mirror of the Third World: Capitalist Development in Modern Europe (1997), War and Social Change in Modern Europe: The Great Transformation Revisited (2004) and Re-Envisioning Global Development: A 'Horizontal' Perspective (2013), as well as articles on globalisation, development theory, historical sociology, nationalism, ethnic conflict, Islam, and democracy in the Middle East. Ronen Palan is Professor of International Political Economy at City University London. He has published many articles and books on the subject of the offshore economy and theories of international political economy.
1. Introduction: legacies of empire Sandra Halperin and Ronen Palan; Part I. Incomplete Transitions from Empires to Nation-States: 2. Political military legacies of empire in world politics Tarak Barkawi; 3. The second British Empire and the re-emergence of global finance Ronen Palan; 4. Imperial city-states, national states, and post-national spatialities Sandra Halperin; Part II. Legacies of Non-European Empires in Today's World: 5. The legacy of Eurasian nomadic empires: remnants of the Mongol imperial tradition Einar Wigen and Iver B. Neumann; 6. The modern roots of feudal empires: the donatory captaincies and the legacies of the Portuguese Empire in Brazil Benjamin De Carvalho; 7. Imperial legacies in the United Nations development program, and the UN development system Craig N. Murphy; Part III. The Future Legacies of the American Empire: 8. Foreign bases, sovereignty and nation-building after empire: the United States in comparative perspective Alexander Cooley; 9. Empire, capital and a legacy of endogenous multiculturalism Herman Schwartz; 10. The assemblage of American imperium: hybrid power, world war and world government(ality) in the twenty-first century Ronnie D. Lipschutz; 11. Conclusion Sandra Halperin and Ronen Palan.
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