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Old Powers, New Powers

30 Credits

Old Powers, New Powers examines the impact of empire on world history, the rise and decline of European economic and political power, and how the legacy of it has shaped the emergent modern state in the 20th century international society. Empires will be studied comparatively in order to understand their varying influences on the construction of successor states.

The policies of the British Empire are central to this course, but these will be studied with reference to the empires of France, Spain, Italy, Russia, The Ottoman Empire, China and Japan. Key questions posed by this module are: 1. What is empire?; 2. How do empires develop, extend and maintain power?; 3. How is empire ‘experienced’?; 4. What is the legacy of empire?; 5. How do empires ‘deal’ with ethno-nationalism, resistance and socio-cultural heterogeneity?; 6. Why and how do empires end?

The Old Powers, New Powers course is a second-year course that forms part of either the Politics and IR undergraduate major or minor at the College. The College takes a more personal approach to education, teaching students through small group seminars and one-to-one tutorials to ensure the best possible learning environment and academic achievement. Politics and IR can be combined either as a major or minor with any of Art History, Creative Writing, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, or Law at the College.