Gentlemanly Capitalism, Imperialism, and Global History

Gentlemanly Capitalism, Imperialism, and Global History

Gentlemanly Capitalism, Imperialism, and Global History

Gentlemanly Capitalism, Imperialism, and Global History

Synopsis

British imperial history can now be seen as a bridge to global history. This study tries to renew the debate on British imperialism by combining Western and Asian historiography and constructing a new global history as an aid to the understanding of globalization in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Part One takes a predominantly metropolitan view of the globalizing forces unleashed by British imperialism; Part Two focuses on the international order of East Asia and its connection with gentlemanly capitalism.

Excerpt

The main aim of this book is to update the debate on British imperialism by relating it to new developments in the history of globalization, as well as by looking at Western historiography from a comparative, Eastern perspective. The focus of this study is therefore less on British imperial history per se than on that segment of global history that was powerfully driven by British imperialism. We hope to bring together two separate branches of historiography: imperial history, with its predominantly Eurocentric or broadly Western orientation, and East Asian studies, which are typically confined by the needs of regional specialization and are rarely connected to broader, global issues.

Within this overarching theme, the central concern of the essays in this volume is the study of power in international relations, and one of the key concepts of the book is ‘informal’ or ‘invisible empire’. Informal empire attracted attention after the publication of Gallagher and Robinson's famous article ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade’ in 1953. British imperial historians continue to debate the strengths and weaknesses of the concept as the recent Oxford History of the British Empire bears witness. Informal empire is essential for the analysis of British influence in areas such as Latin America, the Middle East and China. Recently, in an attempt to take the debate on British imperialism beyond the confines of formal/informal debate, Tony Hopkins has distinguished between two forms of power in the international system and made use of the concepts of ‘structural power’ and ‘relational power’, as a means of interpreting the British presence in Latin America, especially in Argentina in the nineteenth century. ‘Structural power’ allows its possessors to determine, or at least exert, a predominant . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.