EMPIRES & IMPERIALISM 01/23/2014
What is an Empire?
Consists of territories outside of the imperial society’s boundaries
Territories may be adjacent to the imperial society
Territories may not be adjacent to the imperial society
Composed of previously independent societies
Varying degrees of diversity
Constructed through conquest
The involuntary submission of the conquered to the conqueror
Territories acquired through
Intimidate (gunboat diplomacy) to either threaten societies to submit
Force. Actual force, no threats.
* Thucydides – Peloponnesian – Ancient example of gunboat diplomacy.
Sparta vs. Athens, they went to war against each other because they both wanted to
dominate the Peloponnesian and the Greek World.
System of Domination Asymmetrical distribution of power between the dominant core (conquering) society and the subordinate
peripheral (conquered) society.
Involved the exploitation of the subordinate periphery by the dominant core
Dispossession of sovereignty, land, resources, labour
Asymmetrical relationship maintained by forced and other mechanisms of social control. Domination is
maintain through force and threats. These threats and force defines the system of domination.
What is Imperialism?
The practice and process building as well as the attitudes (ideologies, philosophies) justifying imperial
practice and the maintenance of empire. The application of hard power instruments, how do you justify why
you are engaging in this process? To your people, to the people you want to dominate, and to other. Empire
is the end product of imperialism.
Types of empire
Formal Empire: We are talking about empires that consist of dependent nonesovereign domain. Their
freedom and selfdetermination have been deprived.