Imperialism and Globalisation

  • Created by: KDallers-
  • Created on: 17-06-19 15:20

Introduction to Imperialism

An 'essentially contested concept' - various other similar concepts like globalisation, colonialism, empire - IMPERIALISM has pejorative connotations however; reflects EVIL, DISTATE - associated with DOMINATION and the PROBLEMS OF LIFE

- A thing of the past? Seen as an ABOMINABLE phase of history we have moved past - however, this was the 'default mode of political organisation' for most of history - so WE NEED TO STUDY IT - there were not nation-states for most of history, and EMPIRE was an enduring concept

- Age of Empire in 19th century - Britain controlling 1/4 of the world, and EMPIRES grew 8x over this period - various examples - Ottoman Empire lasted over 600 years; also European empires, Mughal Empire - a GLOBAL FORM OF GOVERNANCE

- Today - there are 200 nation-states compared to only 50 in 1914 - the growth of the nation-state and decline of the empire; HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Why? Linked to CAPITALISM as a 'supreme form' (Lenin); or, due to horrors of colonialism being exposed?

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What is Imperialism?

Used pejoraively to portray a TYRANNICAL, MILITANT CONTROL that dominates over a helpless victim (natives) - is it a DIRTY WORD? Hancock - 'no word for scholars'; IMPERIALISM is about power groups and non-power groups, reflecting WAR, LAWMAKING and sovereignty

- When an ethnic group exterts authority over another - reflecting nationality and race; can be based around intention, absolutism, racism, prejudice, religion or civilisation

- DARWIN - saw Empire as when a group EXCEEDS ITS TERRITORY an EXERTS OVER ANOTHER; must be OUTSIDE A BORDER - a spatial dimension; a CORE and a PERIPHERY (Wallerstein) - or, can be an INTERMARRIAGE as some nations desire control by another to increase prosperity

- Broad and narrow conceptions - COLONIALISM is only form of imperialism (narrow), or conceptions of INFORMAL EMPIRE - no physical presence, but acknowledged (Britain-China) - example of the German Empire and migration, economics, colonialism and globalisation - various models of imperialism

- Each colony seen as different - it was NOT a dirty world during the late 19th century - generated a sense of pride - however, does reflect conquest, annexation and administration over 'zones of influence' (Hobsbawm)

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Economic Imperialism

Based around 'DEPENDENCY THEORY' - a reliance upon the CORE STATE for the colony's survival - this was obviously detrimental to the South and beneficial to imperial powers - could exploit the periphery in terms of RAW MATERIALS (South African gold)

- This was about OPENING UP MARKETS in a globalising world economy - ensuring access to newer markets through conquest of 'closed' areas of the world; European exports x8 from 1848-1914; also growth of railways in COLONIAL NATIONS - grew x5 from 1870-1914

- Imperialism used for EXOTIC MATERIALS and FOOD from the third world - a huge demand for 'colonial goods' from Europeans - imported 200m tonnes of tea from India to the UK - 1890s

- Not an INDUSTRIALIST OBJECTIVE - imperialism was ONLY used to benefit the mother nation, and the colony to a requisite amount so it was productive - however, industury REMAINED AT HOME 

- Colonies became SPECIALISED - primary producers of certain goods; this made them beneficial for the mother nation, but VULNERABLE to market failures - also an oligarchical form of governance; BRITISH PM - COMPETITION IN ECONOMICS drove imperial expansion

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Cultural Imperialism + Relation to Capitalism

Cultural imperialism was about implementing European values into COLONIAL POSSESSIONS - either through colonisation or MISSIONARIES - Porter - missionaries were PRIME AGENTS in indoctrination and psychological warfare - stopping 'barbarism'

- Said - argued that missionaries changed cultures into 'derivative cultures' and 'othered' the indigenous population through language, religion and plundering of their culture - missionaries were POWERFUL - funded with £2.4m in 1908, and consisted of the MOST DEDICATED PRIESTS

- This was an act of spreading 'colonial discourse' (Comaroff) and exercising CULTURAL HEGEMONY over the indigenous populations (Gramsci) - based on ethnocentrism

- Colonial CULTURE - Said sees 'culture' itself as xenophobic, as it led to competition between core and peripheral cultures - for example, Nigerian schooling - spreading hatred of basic Yoruba culture - HOWEVER; Porter - is culture and INCOHERENT CONCEPT? Often, core culture is not unified and is adaptable; furthermore, culture can be used for good - Sati in India; can be applied collaboratively - NOT INHERENTLY NEGATIVE

CAPITALISM - Leninist view of this and imperialism - imperialism operated within the capitalist framework to oppress culture and economics, while promoting CORE INTERESTS

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History of Imperialism in the 'Age of Empire'

1875-1914 - the 'age of empire' in Europe - had a few key features; 1) GEOPOLITICS - reshaped by imperialism, putting Europe at the top as they were at the bottom - Bayly's 'Eurasian Problem'; based around nationalism and prevening economic malaise - this was the OVERRIDING FACTOR that contribute to the 'war for empires', WWI

2) ECONOMICS - the notion of a WORLD ECONOMY, where European value increased by 50x due to trade, goods and specialisation of colonies - imperialism FORCED MARKETS OPEN

3) COMMS + SPEED - growth of technology such as steamships, and opening of Suez and Panama Canals - global waterway - greater infrastructure such as RAILWAYS (China and India for military use) - ships - 35m tonnes 1900, 1/2 was British - DRIVING GLOBALISATION

4) MIGRATION - new flows of labour meant White Europeans could move to 'New Europes' like the USA - also colonial subjects moving around due to INDENTURED LABOUR in Indian Ocean

5) FINANCE - Britain had 43% of its investment and growth spent on private industries - £4bn spent on improving railways; 6) IDEOLOGY - imperialism prediated on racism and social Darwinism - links to postcolonialism

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What is Globalisation?

An abstract process - however, linked to notions of INTEGRATION AND INTERCONNECTEDNESS world wide; 4 key features

1) EXPANSION AND ACCELERATION over time - 1866 US-UK Atlantic telegraph cable allowing post to be sent in hours rather than a fortnight - leads to expanion as more use it

2) HOMOGENISATION - things are now more similar across the world, with tweaks based on local traditions - English as a universal langue, however we still learn foreign languages

3) HYBRIDITY - local and new technology develops, for example new economic modelling - this is then shared around the world for all to use

4) TIME-SPACE COMPRESSION - people now feel closer together - due to 'virtual space' being smaller and things feeling as if they move faster - due to the internet

SOFT - about trade, impacts of trade and direct globalisation since 1492; a more imperialistic view (Flynn and Geraldez); HARD - looking at oucomes, physical compression and measuring this (Williamson - price convergence); OVERALL - connects people through interdependence - the GFC 2008 and the creation of the iPhone (Anghie)

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Globalisation 1500-1800

Based around intercontinental trade between Europe or Asia - increased x10 - gradual over the period, but still very noticeable - led to huge competition and GREAT PROFIT being earned

- Limits to this however - according to de Vries, more of a 'SOFT' globalisation - no PRICE CONVERGENCE to identify, and less staunchly empirical backing, so not 'HARD' globalisation

- Increased in volume and value - however, still largely limited - British only spending around 10 shillings on Asian imports, and only 11% of ASIAN IMPORTS were European - ultimately, DEMAND increased, but this didn't always equal EXPONENTIAL TRADE GROWTH - imitation

- Empires were CONSOLIDATED through military expansion, religious missions and CULTURAL GLOBALISATION which promoted homogeneity; also more long-distance trade, and more SHIPPING ROUTES being opened up - greater integration from 1500-1750

- Facilitated by INTERNATIONAL LAW (Anghie) - this meant there was a legal pretext for globalisation, which was initially based on NATURAL LAW and the right for all to TRADE AND CONQUEST (Aqunias) - argued that globalisation had to be done to gain sovereignty - to CONTROL A PLACE, you must CULTIVATE THE LAND - Vattel

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Globalisation from 1750-1890

Three key areas of globalisation, all based on IMPERIALISM, INDUSTRIALISATION and TRADE

- These are interlinked - only the 'civilised' (imperial) nations could trade - colonies linked to European powers, facilitating trade; GLOBALISATION - Grotius - argued that trade implied an 'access to/for all', regardless of your sovereignty - sovereignty emerged from productivity - clear increases in TRADING ACTIVITY across this period 

- Politically, Europeans were becoming more insular - Britain lost US, Spanish and Portuguese decline; however, Britain still dominated the seas, lucrative colonies and had great interventionist power - had to ADAPT TO GLOBALISE according to this British model

- Technologically, the Industrial Revolution led to increased numbers of steamships and a 'global waterway' built following Suez and Panama Canals opening - more railways, more telegraphs, and the ability for GLOBAL TRAVEL opened up - due to IMPERIALISM and INDUSTRIALISATION

- Economically, the belief in free trade of Grotius and Vattel dominated - a 'global economy' began to form, based on European free trade with colonies and new trading blocs formed - this wasn't UNLIMITED (de Vries previously), and had MAJOR CONSEQUENCES - Great Depression

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Globalisation from 1890-End of the Cold War

Global catastrophes occurred from 1890-1914 - however, globalisation occurred PARALLEL to state-building activities in the run up to WWI, and worked cooperatively - new states now had to WORK OUT how to integrate with the GLOBAL ECONOMY

- This led to more competition - imperial competition in the Scramble for Africa 1890s and China; also more INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS - Red Cross, and Comintern; there was even greater integration during this period - however, was DESTROYED in 1914

INTERWAR - following 1914, globalisation had to be restarted from the ground - however, this was inhibited by RADICALISM - Wilsonian liberal ideas like the League of Nations drove globalisation and integration, however they were halted by fascism and communism

- Great Depression - this halted economic integration; the only form of GLOBALISATION there was during this period was CULTURAL, linking to the SPREAD of US values and culture

COLD WAR - two spheres of 'globalisation' based on bipolarity - integration of the Soviet East and the Liberal West; Comintern vs EU/NATO - this was epitomised over proxy wars in decolonised states/neutral states - Soviet Afghan 1979; however, there was INTEGRATION through international institutions like the UN, or Bretton-Woods 1944 in the West

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How does Globalisation operate today?

A NEW LEVEL of integration following the end of the Cold War - now more DEEP AND RAPID than ever before with very little preventing this - the 'first real globalisation' to Howe - is occurring in ECONOMICS, CULTURE and in POLITICS

- However, this is HARD TO CONCEPTUALISE - how does globalisation even work? Is it through LAW? Anghie - international law now promotes the Western liberal agenda, and can therefore MANAGE NEGATIVE EFFECTS through a process of 'COMING TOGETHER' - networks can be formed based on common ideals

- ISSUE - INEQUALITY - has 'deep and rapid' globalisation spread greater inequality - Anghie - 2.2bn people live on $2 a day or less, and globalisation has FAILED to reduce inequality, as highlighted by Thomas Piketty - a growing rich/poor divided

- ISSUE - ENVIRONMENT - globalisation has FAILED to deal with the climate emergency, and has encouraged UNREGULATED DEVELOPMENT in Second World nations like China, and higher CO2 in developed ones like the UK

- Globalisation is UNCONTROLLED - it degrades sovereignty and has a unique set of rules, enshrined in international law - the "freedom to act... in their own domestic space is being curtailed" - Menan, Singapore

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Links between Globalisation and Imperialism

COMPETITION - imperial competition to build MORE POWERFUL EMPIRES has driven globalisation - we now look to ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD to globalise, as was the case with IMPERIALISM (British PM 1879) - both concepts led to cultivation of areas that are now part of the global economy

CULTURE - the growth of trade led to the spread of 'colonial goods' and culture in the AGE OF EMPIRE - UK tea, curry etc; old imperial culture spread to the UK, and due to globalisation today, it can spread in a similar fashion WITHOUT IMPERIALISM

MIGRATION - generated new migration flows in the age of empire - today, this has continued in the globalised world, leading to multiculturalism and remittance flows - a form of 'SOFT' globalisation, as CORE NATIONS now become hubs for various cultures

STILL PRESENT - do GLOBALISATION and COLONIALISM work in tandem with eachother today? View of postcolonial scholars like Fanon, Said - 'new imperialism' occurs, and causes great damage which is exacerbated by GLOBALISATION - makes this much easier - Chinese in Kenya for example - are we STILL LEAVING IN A NEOCOLONIAL WORLD?

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Key Thinkers of Globalisation and Imperialism

Hancock, J.Darwin, Hobsbawm, Wallerstein, de Vries, Anghie, Porter, Said, Comaroff, Gramsci, Lenin, Bayly, Flynn and Geraldez, Williamson, Aquinas, Vattel, Grotius, Wilson, Howe, Piketty, Menan, Disraeli, Fanon

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