How did empires rule different peoples across vast expanses of space and time? And how did small numbers of imperial bureaucrats govern large numbers of subordinated peoples? Empires and Bureaucracy in World History seeks answers to these fundamental problems in imperial studies by exploring the power and limits of bureaucracy. The book is pioneering in bringing together historians of antiquity and the Middle Ages with scholars of post-medieval European empires, while a genuinely world-historical perspective is provided by chapters on China, the Incas and the Ottomans. The editors identify a paradox in how bureaucracy operated on the scale of empires and so help explain why some empires endured for centuries while, in the contemporary world, empires fail almost before they begin. By adopting a cross-chronological and world-historical approach, the book challenges the abiding association of bureaucratic rationality with 'modernity' and the so-called 'Rise of the West'.
This is the first world history of empire, reaching from the third millennium BCE to the present. By combining synthetic surveys, thematic comparative essays, and numerous chapters on specific empires, its two volumes provide unparalleled coverage of imperialism throughout history and across continents, from Asia to Europe and from Africa to the Americas. Only a few decades ago empire was believed to be a thing of the past; now it is clear that it has been and remains one of the most enduring forms of political organization and power. We cannot understand the dynamics and resilience of empire without moving decisively beyond the study of individual cases or particular periods, such as the relatively short age of European colonialism. The history of empire, as these volumes amply demonstrate, needs to be drawn on the much broader canvas of global history. Volume I: The Imperial Experience is dedicated to synthesis and comparison. Following a comprehensive theoretical survey and bold world history synthesis, fifteen chapters analyze and explore the multifaceted experience of empire across cultures and through the ages. The broad range of perspectives includes: scale, world systems and geopolitics, military organization, political economy and elite formation, monumental display, law, mapping and registering, religion, literature, the politics of difference, resistance, energy transfers, ecology, memories, and the decline of empires. This broad set of topics is united by the central theme of power, examined under four headings: systems of power, cultures of power, disparities of power, and memory and decline. Taken together, these chapters offer a comprehensive and unique view of the imperial experience in world history. Volume II: The History of Empires tracks the protean history of political domination from the very beginnings of state formation in the Bronze Age up to the present. Case studies deal with the full range of the historical experience of empire, from the realms of the Achaemenids and Asoka to the empires of Mali and Songhay, and from ancient Rome and China to the Mughals, American settler colonialism, and the Soviet Union. Forty-five chapters detailing the history of individual empires are tied together by a set of global synthesizing surveys that structure the world history of empire into eight chronological phases.
Coffee from East Africa, wine from California, chocolate from the Ivory Coast - all those every day products are based on labour, often produced under appalling conditions, but always involving the combination of various work processes we are often not aware of. What is the day-to-day reality for workers in various parts of the world, and how was it in the past? How do they work today, and how did they work in the past? These and many other questions comprise the field of the global history of work – a young discipline that is introduced with this handbook. In 8 thematic chapters, this book discusses these aspects of work in a global and long term perspective, paying attention to several kinds of work. Convict labour, slave and wage labour, labour migration, and workers of the textile industry, but also workers' organisation, strikes, and motivations for work are part of this first handbook of global labour history, written by the most renowned scholars of the profession.
All major continental empires proclaimed their desire to rule 'the entire world', investing considerable human and material resources in expanding their territory. Each, however, eventually had to stop expansion and come to terms with a shift to defensive strategy. This volume explores the factors that facilitated Eurasian empires' expansion and contraction: from ideology to ecology, economic and military considerations to changing composition of the imperial elites. Built around a common set of questions, a team of leading specialists systematically compare a broad set of Eurasian empires - from Achaemenid Iran, the Romans, Qin and Han China, via the Caliphate, the Byzantines and the Mongols to the Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals, Russians, and Ming and Qing China. The result is a state-of-the art analysis of the major imperial enterprises in Eurasian history from antiquity to the early modern that discerns both commonalities and differences in the empires' spatial trajectories.
This book offers in-depth insights on the struggles implementing the rule of law in nineteenth century Ceylon, introduced into the colonies by the British as their “greatest gift.” The book argues that resistance can be understood as a form of negotiation to lessen oppressive colonial conditions, and that the cumulative impact caused continual adjustments to the criminal justice system, weighing it down and distorting it. The tactical use of rule of law is explored within the three bureaucracies: the police, the courts and the prisons. Policing was often “governed at a distance” due to fiscal constraints and economic priorities and the enforcement of law was often delegated to underpaid Ceylonese. Spaces of resistance opened up as Ceylon was largely left to manage its own affairs. Villagers, minor officials, as well as senior British government officials, alternately used or subverted the rule of law to achieve their own goals. In the courts, the imported system lacked political legitimacy and consequently the Ceylonese undermined it by embracing it with false cases and information, in the interests of achieving justice as they saw it. In the prisons, administrators developed numerous biopolitical techniques and medical experiments in order to punish prisoners’ bodies to their absolute lawful limit. This limit was one which prison officials, prisoners, and doctors negotiated continuously over the decades. The book argues that the struggles around rule of law can best be understood not in terms of a dualism of bureaucrats versus the public, but rather as a set of shifting alliances across permeable bureaucratic boundaries. It offers innovative perspectives, comparing the Ceylonese experiences to those of Britain and India, and where appropriate to other European colonies. This book will appeal to those interested in law, history, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, cultural and political geography.
In traditional Chinese historiography, the inner court--usually consisting of the palace women, imperial affines, eunuchs, and the emperor's favorites--is often depicted as the cause of political decay and blamed for the fall of dynasties. This narrative shows empathy with the bureaucrats who were in constant tension with the inner court in their attempt to exert more political influence. Using both transmitted texts and archaeological sources, this project examines the roles of the inner court in the politics of the Han empire (202 BC--220 AD) from the angles of space, gender, family, ideology, social networks, institution, and historical memory. It argues that the inner court, who exerted political influence because of their spatial and emotional closeness to the ruler, served as the ruler's personal power base against the outer court bureaucracy. While previous research has largely treated the inner court as an institution, this research shows that the inner court was primarily a space and individuals who were close to the ruler prior to its institutionalization. Decentering the literati's rhetoric, this research illuminates the political significance of gender, family, and social networks in Han politics. It thus revises the current paradigm of Chinese political history that highlights the bureaucracy and downgrades the inner court, presenting a picture of competing ideas of legitimacy and dynamic interactions among different groups. Its relational approach to imperial power also contributes to the comparative study of empires in world history.
Making Sense of World History is a comprehensive and accessible textbook that helps students understand the key themes of world history within a chronological framework stretching from ancient times to the present day. To lend coherence to its narrative, the book employs a set of organizing devices that connect times, places, and/or themes. This narrative is supported by: Flowcharts that show how phenomena within diverse broad themes interact in generating key processes and events in world history. A discussion of the common challenges faced by different types of agent, including rulers, merchants, farmers, and parents, and a comparison of how these challenges were addressed in different times and places. An exhaustive and balanced treatment of themes such as culture, politics, and economy, with an emphasis on interaction. Explicit attention to skill acquisition in organizing information, cultural sensitivity, comparison, visual literacy, integration, interrogating primary sources, and critical thinking. A focus on historical “episodes” that are carefully related to each other. Through the use of such devices, the book shows the cumulative effect of thematic interactions through time, communicates the many ways in which societies have influenced each other through history, and allows us to compare and contrast how they have reacted to similar challenges. They also allow the reader to transcend historical controversies and can be used to stimulate class discussions and guide student assignments. With a unified authorial voice and offering a narrative from the ancient to the present, this is the go-to textbook for World History courses and students. The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781003013518, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
This study focuses on Empires, from an economic historical perspective. In doing so, it relates current debates in international relations (IR) and politics to the vexed legacy of empires in the past. The book includes analyses of the comparative scholarly literature on Empire in Antiquity, and Empire in the Early Modern and Modern Ages, asking the question if the United Sates is an Empire, and if China an emerging Empire. It contributes to the field given its interdisciplinarity, bringing together both historical and IR insights into world systems in times past. In addition it draws out four key points of separateness between pre-modern and modern empires, and emphases specific economic data. Further to that, the book advances the notion of the emergence of “empires from within” in the 21st century, that is nation-states becoming more multi-ethnic while often stepping back from globalization. And finally it offers future scenarios for the evolution of empires in a Schumpeterian post-industrial world.
The Super Summary of World History Revised is a new and very compact history of the world emphasizing western culture and political processes as of 2010. Mr. Daniel has completely reviewed and rewritten major sections of his original work, The Super Summary of World History, and published his updated work as the Super Summary of World History Revised. The Super Summary is for the thinking person. This new history raises exciting questions and puts events into new perspectives to stimulate real thinking about history rather than accepting that the past as set in stone. History isnt just names and dates, but a range of decisions and actions that often turn on the smallest circumstance. The Super Summary analyzes a few events in depth but most are put into their historical framework so the reader discern where and how all of this action escorts us to the present day. If history seems dull, pick up The Super Summary to discover that Western History is alive with controversy and consequence. The book has 612 pages, over 83 Figures most of which are maps - a detailed Table of Contents, a time line of essential events, a list of important on-line sources, an extensive index, and 391 footnotes. At the end of key chapters is a list of reading and on-line sources to help the reader expand their knowledge of history Plus a new "Let Us Learn" section detailing what history can teach us. Throughout the text, critical names are in bold, and extremely important events are in bold and italic print.
No one has hitherto had the breadth of imagination and intellectual boldness to describe and analyse government throughout recorded history and throughout the world. This unique study of government is the culmination of the work of the late S. E. Finer, one of the leading political scientistsof the twentieth century.Ranging over 5,000 years, from the Sumerian city state to the modern European nation state, five themes emerge: state-building, military formats, belief systems, social stratification, and timespan. The three volumes examine both representative and exceptional polities, and focus on politicalelites of different types.Ancient Monarchies and Empires opens with Finer's masterly Conceptual Prologue, setting out the entire scope and structure of The History. Books One and Two then consider early examples of the predominantly `palace' type of polity, notably in respect of the Kingdoms of Egypt and the Empires ofAssyria, Persia, Han China, and Rome; interspersed with consideration of the `exceptional' Jewish Kingdoms and the Greek and Roman Republics.Professor Finer's cogent descriptive analysis offers both an invaluable reference resource and an exhilarating journey across time and space.