User:Evarenon/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge/Seminar Group 3/Imperialism

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Imperialism[edit | edit source]

What is imperialism?[edit | edit source]

Imperialism generally tends to be considered as a political, military or economic phenomenon, which can be defined loosely as the domination of one group by another, in order to benefit the dominant group. These types of imperialism, for example, which are often addressed in the discipline of history, are, according to Harrison M. Wright, "the deliberate act or advocacy of extending or maintaining, for the primary purpose of aggrandisement, a state's direct or indirect political control over any other inhabited territory which involves treating the inhabitants inequitably in comparison with the norm for its own citizens."[1]

However, imperialism can be seen to take other forms, including social imperialism and intellectual imperialism. Both social and intellectual imperialism may be viewed as similar to political and economic imperialism, in that they are also imposed on groups of people by a dominating one, and could be seen to arise out of political or economic imperialism.[2]

Be that as it may, imperialism does not necessarily have to be imposed on people. For instance, several scholars, such as Uskali Mäki, have identified types of scientific imperialism (those of scope, style, and standing), which are types of disciplinary imperialism. Mäki describes this phenomenon as being when the institutional structures belonging to certain disciplines (for example conventions, principles, practices, styles, etc.) are challenged by another discipline. He also adds that this form of imperialism is not necessarily good or bad in terms of its impact on disciplines and academia as a whole.[3]

As a result, imperialism should be defined rather generally, as it manifests itself in so many different forms. Johan Galtung achieves this by simply describing it as a type of "dominance relation between collectivities" (other dominance relationships, such as military occupation are not necessarily equivalent to imperialism, though they could occur together in some cases).[4]

Unpacking "imperialism"[edit | edit source]
Essential attributes Inequality Ad fortissima (to the strongest) External Politico-economic Influence Dominance Monopoly Power related Causes change
Non-essential attributes Territorial Cultural Linguistic Submission Aggression Faith Academic Has a motive Involves physical action
Indicators Colony "White mans burden" - bias towards western way/perspective/teachings.
Definitions of imperialism and their historical context or disciplinary context[edit | edit source]
Economical context (Tancrede, Hadrien, Camille and Camilla)[edit | edit source]

Different economic opinions usually have different views about Imperialism. According to a website called Theories of Imperialism (No name nor date appear in the page), Conservatives will usually consider Imperialism as a way to preserve social and economic organisation in a developed country. On the other hand, for Marxists, Imperialism is a consequence of capitalism that leaded to terrible events such as World War I. Finally, like Marxists, Liberals also consider Imperialism as a bad thing globally. However, they don't consider it at all has "an inevitable consequence of capitalism".

Possible research questions on imperialism[edit | edit source]

To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change? Laura, Emilie & Lily

Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilising? - Laura, Emilie & Lily

To what extent is inequality an imperialistic legacy? - Hadrien, Tancrede, Camilla & Camille

What are the modern forms of imperialism? - Hadrien, Tancrede, Camilla & Camille

To what extent did imperialism influence our culture today? Maeve & Ryan

To what extent are subjects submissive towards imperialist powers? Maeve & Ryan

Are politico-economic reasons the main motivation behind imperialism? Maeve & Ryan

What is the contemporary influence of imperialism? Amber, Jordan & LI

Do imperialist ideas still influence society as much they did in the past? Guan & Eesha

To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world? Guan & Eesha

Research and discussion[edit | edit source]

Can imperialism can be seen as an attempt of civilizing (Tancrede Hadrien Camille Camilla)[edit | edit source]

Defenders of imperialism have been arguing for what they consider being its “positives” aspects. Civilizing was often used as a pretext. French minister Jules Ferry, for instance, tried to justify imperialism in 1884 by evoking a “duty to civilize inferior races”. This often included imposing the education of their language, religion and politico-legal systems upon the colonised country. This can still be seen today through the occurrence of volunteer-tourism, through which students often go to foreign countries and teach them English. This is known as linguistic imperialism in which a language (English) is often seen as more important for a community to learn.

Another striking example could be the case of British author JR Kipling in one of his most infamous poem’s “the white man’s burden”. Taking the entire debate to another level of manifest racism, his claim was that White men, from western empires, had to undertake a “civilization mission”. The latter could be summarized by a few elements such as providing food and sanitary support, developing their “human” abilities as they are considered being “new-caught sullen people, half devil and half child”.

However, it is true that civilizing is often a consequence of Imperialism. For instance, Andrew Roberts, biograph of Napoleon, argues about the french Emperor that "the ideas that underpin our modern world (…) were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon". This statement is also true for other empires. Charlemagne is known (even if its historically contested) as the emperor that established school in France; the Roman Empire unified and developed technologically Europe during Antiquity; colonial empires did developed colonies sometime by creating structures and integrating economically the colonised lands.

In some cases, it is possible to express positives aspects of imperialism. For instance, US-imperialism on post-second-world war countries such as Germany, Italy, or Japan which led to their transformation from fascists dictatorships to some of the most powerful liberal democracies. Yet in this case, it’s about liberal imperialism, and the actions were stimulated by the US personal’s economic and political interests.

Nevertheless we can question the price of Imperiaism on the societies affected. The violence inflicted shows the immorality of Imperialism itslef, as criticized by Hobson. Napoleon, for example, throughout his imperialistic views and actions, and through the wars created, destroyed land and lives. Furthermore, in some cases, Imperialism has affected negatively the civilizations, and as Rob Johnson says, “the net result of British imperialism was the ‘arrested developmet’ of the colonies”. Additionally, imperialism has had a significant impact upon local economies causing them to become dependent economically. This can be seen today through trade agreements and economic relations between old colonised countries and the colonising country.

We can even question the notion of “civilizing” in itself. Considering imperialism as a process of civilizing implies that the empire’s civilization is superior to the conquered territories’ ones. This ethnocentrism was often proven false and was often contested, notably during the Enlightenment period. Therefore, authors such as Diderot in Supplément au voyage de Bougainville or Montesquieu in Persan Letters contested these kind of ethnocentric visions.

To what extent does imperialism bring about change? (Laura, Emilie and Lily)[edit | edit source]

From research into the topic of imperialism it soon becomes apparent that far from being straight-forward, imperialism is an issue which appears in many guises, ranging from social and ecological imperialism through to linguistic and academic imperialism. The many forms of imperialism, however diverse, share common themes and attributes to mark them out as imperialism. Etymologically speaking the term imperialism stems from the Latin word imperium, meaning supreme power hence various situations involving inequality and power can be viewed through the lens of imperialism.

One attribute in particular that imperialism seems to exhibit is its innate quality to force or bring about change. As described by C.K.Raju, for example, imperialism in the academic realm can cause significant negative change for the educational landscape in non-western countries, this shows how the imperialist influence in academia has provoked negative alterations to the research and scientific advances in the non-western world and impacted how they are viewed, globally. Syed Hussein Alatas adds to this by arguing that traditional imperialism has caused intellectual imperialism to arise, which persists to this day. He argues that due to the tendency of previous colonies' disciplines of social sciences and history being dominated by western imperialist scholars, native scholars have developed a captive mind. This results in their need for approval from western academia (shown in the general trend in Asian scholarship to aim to be published in western journals, which are considered the most prestigious), causing them to imitate western scholars, assessing their work in terms of western standards, and avoiding criticism of western scholarship in general. Alatas concludes that this causes docility and stifles creativity in non-western academics.

As well as bringing about negative change, however, imperialism can also be a force for positive evolution as suggested by David Rothkopf who suggests that in terms of cultural imperialism, the global population may actually benefit from the removal of cultural barriers by cultural imperialism, which in his words ‘may be a measure of civilisation’ and enable better communication between cultures. This fusing of the different cultures due to the dominance and almost infectious nature of ‘superior’ cultures (often western culture) is lamented by many as the loss of diversity and a symptom of societies decline, yet Rothkopf makes the valid argument that the more we are part of the same global culture the greater the stability and safety we experience as a member of society. Regardless of whether the phenomenon of cultural imperialism is viewed as positive or negative, there is no doubt that it is completely transforming the cultural landscape which we experience today.

Another example of imperialism forcing change is in the domain of languages and linguistics. Peter Mühlhäusler discusses the issue of linguistic imperialism, specifically focussing on the tangible changes to the language in the Pacific region. His article condemns the process of linguistic erosion which leads to minority languages being transformed and eventually made obsolete by dominating languages such as English, Mandarin and Spanish. This highlights the impact that imperialism can have on languages and how we communicate, an intrinsic factor of our society.

An additional essential factor of a society is its arts and culture, something often heavily affected by imperialism. Taking the case from Hobson on Imperialism in Asia, the British decreased the value of India’s craftwork and culture by industrialising the manufacturing process, damaging the nation's economy while Britain was only gaining from outside cash flow. There was a forced upon change on the environment from factory chemicals and also India’s goods in the market - something that would not be detrimental to the nation resembling the imperialism as it would not be their burden to salvage. Another example of cultural change is that imposed by Rome on its provinces, as is explored by Neville Morley. The Roman empire was often praised for its ability to integrate its provinces into Roman culture in a process often known as Romanisation. Although past literature has emphasised the role of Rome's superior culture relative to that of its conquests in achieving this, recent scholars have argued that in fact, natives often embraced certain changes, as the alternative was to forfeit the ability to participate in social life. For instance, adopting Latin was necessary if one wished to conduct business within the empire, communicate with any Roman officials, or serve in the army (where orders were given in Latin), among other things. Thus, Morley extrapolates that cultural changes caused by imperialism in general, even when not theoretically forced onto local populations, may be adopted anyway because the costs of not doing so would be too high or cause social exclusion.

Clearly, imperialism has enormous impacts on empires' peripheries. However, it can also cause changes in their centres as well. For instance, the Rome's interaction with its provinces sometimes caused it to re-evaluate and re-examine some of its beliefs. Its interaction with Greece, for example, caused it to have to re-evaluate its own place in history, relative to Greece's. In fact, by the time of Augustus, Greece's cultural heritage and importance in history had been accepted and was well-established in Rome, demonstrating that contact between the centre and peripheries within an imperial setting can also result in changes in the centre, and not just in the peripheries.

To conclude, it can be seen from these examples that change, both on the centre and peripheries, is an inextricable aspect of imperialism, forced onto an inferior social or minority group by a dominant power in order to retain their hold. The forced change can have negative and/or positive repercussions for the community which is affected and it could be argued that the changes aren't always foreseen by the imperialist power who is bringing about the change.

To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world? (Guan and Eesha)[edit | edit source]

Given the growing influence of mass media in modern society, it may be natural to assume that the effects of imperialism on modern culture will be significant. This is largely supported by the theory of media imperialism, which argues that the dominance of mass media allows for the influence and transmission of imperialist ideas - thus the role that the media plays in our world today is instrumental in conveying imperialist ideas to society.

The development of technologies which allow the rapid transfer of information and conveying of imperialist messages globally arguably plays a larger role in reinforcing imperialist ideas than through other establishments which dominated the spread of such ideas in the past such as educational and religious systems. Furthermore, the means in which these messages are conveyed are through mass produced texts and other cultural forms such as films, literature and music, which are subtle and yet impactful in modern culture. This means of enforcing the imperialist hierarchy is arguably more widely accepted in society, due to the very belief that media is catered to the public and for the public - media imperialism, however, argues that the widespread influence of mass media from larger nations in fact allows for the reinforcement of imperialist power.

According to the theory of media imperialism, mass media has made it easier to create a culture of dependence in developing countries on media produced by Western colonizers - in both an economic and a cultural sense. The media homogeneity from more powerful countries affects and shapes the views of society, arguably creating a culture in which “Western culture” is the ideal.

Whilst this argument for the influence of imperialism on the spread of Western-centric mass media may hold true, it is, however, questionable how significantly imperialism has actually left lasting effects on modern culture. Despite the influence larger Western countries may have on media, it is not, perhaps, entirely true that different cultures will be as significantly influenced by Western culture as expected due to the spread of information globally, not just from imperialist powers - thus arguably reducing the influence of imperialism on modern culture.

It must be acknowledged that culture and identity are organic and will evolve over time - however, assuming that a culture will change and fit into the mold created by imperialism is a shallow one. The problem here lies in the assumption that societies will remain passive in the face of a dominant cultural power, disregarding the active and creative dimension of people in generating their own culture.

In conclusion, whilst the modern world has given imperialism a seemingly easy way to permeate culture and impose its ideals on the general masses, its roots largely stem from the notion of capitalism and economic purposes, and therefore may not be reflected in cultural identity.

To what extent are subjects submissive towards imperialist powers? (Maeve & Ryan)[edit | edit source]

In terms of academic imperialism, there are many definitions. Disciplines can attempt to dominate other sub disciplines, can place themselves in a hierarchy and can have Eurocentric research and methodologies. Due to the many definitions it is unclear whether academics are submissive to these processes, yet there are commentators. One can argue that there is a parallel with colonialism. Occupied territories were spoken for, were unable to control their representation and ‘the western way’ was seen as the most instructive and civilised. This remains unchanged today, for example in medicine, where ‘global mental health’ is so ingrained in western culture that it is rendering invisible the perspectives of mental health across the globe which are shaped by different philosophies and understandings of life. Is the west projecting their ideas of medicine onto other cultures and are they accepting it? Some believe there is very little resistance among academics in non-western universities, neither a will to conduct research outside the framework of western academic preoccupations and interests, therefore showing an extent of submission. However, there can not be total submission towards academic imperialism. Many researchers, for example Nancy Cartwright, a philosopher of science, opposes the power quantum mechanics has within physics, and the ‘imperialistic tendencies’ of physics and economics in general. Furthermore, this topic is being heavily discussed, therefore the sheer number of critiques from academics show discontentment with the system.

Viewing subjects submission to an external imperial force in different countries and on a different scale of cultural, linguistic and ethnic similarity facilitates a more adept perspective of the significance of these attributes. That is, submission to an imperial power will depend upon the cultural “claims” that this power might have upon your country or indeed the extent to which you feel politically or historically represented or aligned with this country. Of course, in almost all cases, the subjugated state will feel hostility and resentment towards what are normally undesired politico-economic advances. Merely, it’s worth considering how social factors influence the level of submission or resistance. Barbara Bush claims that the emergence of a “black consciousness” in Africa in so far as it was driven by Garveyism led to “governmental alarm in the 1920s”.

It seems clear that a subjugated population consisting of less than conscious individuals wouldn’t consider the state of things and how they are being treated. As a result of this emergent “Africanism”, African countries would become less submissive to a dominant force and begin a process of regaining power. The concept of a population not being quite aware of the tragedy of the way in which they are being treated is mirrored throughout colonial rule. In Latin America, the US pivoted from a militarily dominated structure of politco-economic influence in promoting capitalism to a “less confrontational and violent way”. These less violent methods are arguably likely to be more subtle and less noticeable for a population that has less of a “consciousness” as described by Bush. Education level becomes relevant here as we investigate the extent to which subjects are aware of the subjugation under which they are placed, a strategy that, when subtle and non-confrontational, is perhaps imperceptible for an uneducated proletariat.

What is the contemporary influence of imperialism? (Amber, Jordan and Li)[edit | edit source]

Imperialism is often seen as the product of the industrial revolution, in which western countries rushed to expand their empires by colonising non-western nations due to varied economic, religious and political motivations. It is suggested by Schumpeter, that if imperialism was just a quest for territory or a search to increase profits, then there would be no historical significance to the age of imperialism. In Britain, imperial trade was recognised as essential during the interwar period as loss of economic power created an economic need. This reliance on the overseas empire, deepened the economic association between metropole and empire, creating the need for political control of the colonies. Although, the age of imperialism subsided by the beginning of the 20th century, the influence of imperialism can still be seen in contemporary economics and politics.

In the 19th and 20th century, monopoly took place of free competition and was considered the economic essence of imperialism. Imperialism was embodied in private-monopoly capitalism, then became state-monopoly capitalism. Now, globalization enhances international monopoly, since technology advancement and the invention of Internet provided the possibility for international capital groups to manipulate capital, such as stock and forward markets, thereby controlling global economic systems. This shows that monopoly is still an important feature of contemporary capitalism. Undoubtedly, economic globalization and monopoly brought extreme convenience to life and greater efficiency in production, but there are still some drawbacks: this kind of capitalism enlarges the poverty gap, accelerating inequality in the world; private ownership is regulated by markets and its blindness may cause severe financial crisis. As mentioned in the readings, imperialism has taken a form of global value chains or production networks in 21th century and generally, is beneficial to the development of global economy.

Imperialism also continues to affect current politics. New imperialism describes the influence of imperialist pasts on contemporary politics. It is defined as the process of incorporating low income countries, including ex-colonies, into global governance (Tilky, 2006)[5]. Western powers influence other economies in this way, bringing about economic and political gain to themselves, often at the expense of the lower income countries. The western view is often imposed on these lower income countries, influencing their development in a direction of western ideals. An example of this can be seen in the governance of the US in the 1900s. Movements were made to establish control over world’s free markets, in a manner that can be viewed as imperialist. The military interventions of the country at this time, in regions like the middle east, also bear resemblances to imperialist invasion (Foster, 2003)[6].

It can therefore be suggested that an imperialist past has influenced the political stance of some western countries in more recent history.  In general, it can be seen from those passages that imperialism exerts influence on both economic and political aspects. Although Lenin’s theory criticized imperialism and capitalism, people should consider them objectively and pay more attention to the positive values, thereby applying them to modern society.

Our readings[edit | edit source]

Our collective reading list
Reference and link (authors, year, embedded link) Main argument Which attribute or which research question does this paper relate to?
Ending Academic Imperialism: a Beginning, C.K.Raju Lsythes (discusscontribs) 07:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC) The main argument in this article is in respect to so-called academic imperialism, it argues that western influence has fundamentally changed how science and education are conducted and valued in non-western world. The article makes lots of valid points in particular referencing how the western ways of conducting mathematics and sciences have become universal and intrinsically superior, any other ways are inferior or less trustworthy despite many significant scientific discoveries coming from non-western cultures only to be appropriated by western scientists. This highlights how the process of imperialism in academia can entirely transform the world of academia. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Linguistic Ecology: Language Change and Linguistic Imperialism in the Pacific Region, Peter Mühlhäusler, 1st Edition, 1996, Pages 18-21 Lsythes (discusscontribs) 07:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC) This article speaks about the theme of linguistic imperialism and how it changes the global linguistic landscape by eroding minority languages and forcing linguistic change onto those cultures. This article takes a negative view of linguistic imperialism and shows it to produce a homogeneous linguistic sphere, dominated by languages seen as 'superior' such as English, Mandarin and Spanish. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
In Praise of Cultural Imperialism ?, David Rothkopf Lsythes (discusscontribs) 07:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC) This article is based around the ideas of cultural imperialism, the idea that globalisation is changing cultural identities and perhaps leading to homogeneity. However, the main argument of this article is actually in favour of this phenomenon of cultural imperialism on the basis that it 'may be a measure of civilisation' enhancing our communication and understanding of one another. Furthermore it is argued that culture is not a static entity and that cultural imperialism as well as globalisation of culture will lead to a more stable and safe world. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Chapter V, Imperialism in Asia: Imperialism: A Study by Hobon, J.A. This Chapter looked at the effects that the British Empire had on India during its imperialistic influence. At first praising the positive change that the British imposed, including establishing peace among the people, creating an equal administration of laws and promoting education etc., the British too forced upon a change on India's economy, howeverr not so beneficial. With introducing machinery and cheap labour manufacturing to India, it destroyed the value of their native arts. In this sense, imperialism did not create change for India's good. To what exten does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Intellectual Imperialism: Definition, Traits, and Problems, Syed Hussein Alatas This article analyses the definition of intellectual imperialism and analyses some of its impacts. It is very relevant to the research question in that it emphasises the fact that traditional political colonialism helped create a self-induced captivity in terms of intellect in scholars from previously colonised regions, causing the creation and perpetuation of intellectual imperialism. Indeed, despite the dismantling of political forms of imperialism, intellectual imperialism remains, which affects both western scholars and students (who, for instance, may unconsciously view non-western academia as inferior, resulting in little interest in past Asian scholars, for example, relative to western ones, such as Plato and Aristotle), as well as non-western scholars, in that they will have a tendency to try to please western scholars and appear in western journals (as they are considered more prestigious). As a result, non-western scholars are often less critical of foreign literature, and attempt to imitate foreign styles, resulting in them becoming more docile and less critical. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Chapter 4: ‘They Called it “Civilisation”’: The Dynamics of Cultural Change, from the book The Roman of Empire: Roots of Imperialism, Neville Morley The Roman empire has had many impacts, not only at the time on its conquered provinces (with the introduction of aqueducts, Latin, Roman law and coinage, etc.), but long after the empire's dissolution, including the justification used by European states in the 19th century for imperialism (with the idea of a civilising mission). It has been argued that at the time, Rome was able to integrate its provinces into its empire so well because it had a superior culture, and adopting it was thus very desirable. However, this chapter points out that the decision of conquered people to embrace changes, not only in the Roman empire, but empires in general, though perhaps in principle voluntary, is in reality unavoidable if they want to be included in regular social life. Moreover, the chapter evokes the fact that imperialism not only invokes change in conquered areas, but also in the centre of the imperial power itself. Rome's response to its contact with Greece, for instance, was to re-evaluate its place in history, whilst taking Greece's into account. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Imperialism, A study (Part 2)- Hobson

Hobson critiques imperialism, the immorality of the imperialistic nation, using violence as a pretext to civilize the societies, and voices his concern for the violence inflicted on the “inferior races”. He advocates a manageable Imperialism, responsible and liberla. This book talks about the link between Clolonialism and Imperialism. States that Britain used the pretext of colonization, and the idea of helping the “primitive” societies become more civil, as a way to impose their politics and make a profit. The pretext was to give them the governance skills (to socially elevate them), and then let them govern alone (no interference). But this was just to make them appear more “civil”, and to exploit them later. Belief that an expansionary foreign policy is most effective way to help a population. (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille)

Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing?
Cruel despot or wise reformer? Napoleon’s two faces go on view , Kim Willsher, 3 Sep 2017 Napoleon's empire is a model of Imperialism. Nowadays, many consider him as a bloody war ruler. However this article contrast this image, saying Napoleon's imperialism did developed civilization after the troubled period that followed the French Revolution called the Terror. In a biography of Napoleon, Andrew Roberts wrote that “The ideas that underpin our modern world – meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on – were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon." Hence, imperialism can lead to a process of civilizing. However, we can doubt about if Napoleon's Imperialism really had for motivation the will to civilize. We can also think about the cost of this civilization (human lives, war zones, destroyed land...) (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille) Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing?
Belgian Colonialism , Katherine Schulz Richard, March 17 20177 One of the forms of Imperialism is History were the Colonial empires. There is a debate, still nowadays, whether colonisation brought civilization or a much more negative legacy. Africa is the poorest continent on Earth nowadays, and it was one of the most disputed continent by the colonial empires. The question for Africa is to explore the possibly existing link between these two facts. This article refers to Belgium colonization in Congo, saying that the attempt of civilizing was often a pretext to exploit the country ressources. (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille) Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing?
British Imperialism - Rob Jonhson Sees the civilization that Imperialism brings just as an impact of Imperialism itself, through colonialism

The economic and political impact, that one could call “civilizing”, are seen as an influence that Imperialism had on the society in question. But the influence is said to be dramatic. Civilizing is not seen as the first goal of imperialism. The consequences of Imperialism are seen as positive whereas the consequences of colonialism are seen as catastrophic in some places. It is even said that “the net result of British imperialism was the ‘arrested developmet’ of the colonies” - contradicting the thought that imperialism is an attempt at civilizing. (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille)

Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing?
FERRY: ON FRENCH COLONIAL EXPANSION (1884) If this speech reveals economic and political reasons to try and defend imperialism, the latter is also justified by the idea of a duty to educate and “civilize” the "primitive". It highlights the claims of colonization defenders during the age of imperialism and offers a broad idea of their insanely racist perspectives. (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille) Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing ?
White Man's Burden by R Kipling The White man’s burden is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling during the age of imperialism. As its title suggests is, it talks about a burden that would have to be endorsed by white men and could be summed up by the duty of civilizing the populations exploited by western colonial empires. There again, the poet tries to justify colonizing by putting forward the argument of a responsibility to educate the “primitive”. (Hadrien, Tancrède, Camilla & Camille) Can imperialism be seen as an attempt of civilizing ?
“Global mental health” is an oxymoron and medical imperialism

Maevethomas (discusscontribs) 16:53, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

When mental health is considered as global, this universalism is reproducing the dynamics of the colonial era. Colonies and occupied territories were spoken for and were unable to control their representation. A conspicuous trait of imperialism in a modern context is to claim progressiveness. But western knowledge is still taken instructive and civilised.

“In any particular setting, whose knowledge counts, and who has the power to define the problem?”

Scientific Imperialism and the proper relations between the sciences

Maevethomas (discusscontribs) 16:53, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

There is a parallel between political imperialists dominating other populations and the sciences attempting to dominate other discipline and sub-disciplines. There is an opposition towards scientific imperialism e.g. Nancy Cartwright, a philosopher of science, complains about the imperialism of quantum mechanics within physics, and the ‘imperialistic tendencies’ of physic and economics in general.

If imperialist sciences were to force the adoption of explanations that are inferior to those of other sciences, then scientific imperialism should be resisted. An additional concern is that important human values could fail to be expressed, and we might become someone we would not wish to become.

A Critique of Eurocentric Social Science and the Questions of Alternatives

Maevethomas (discusscontribs) 16:53, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Academic assumptions and methodologies have been uncritically imported from European traditions. Though the critique of Eurocentrism in disciplines (specifically the social sciences) is well acknowledged, there is very little resistance among academics in non-western universities, neither a will to conduct research outside the framework of western academic preoccupations and interests.
Imperialism, Race and Resistance: Africa and Britain, 1919-1945 Paper discusses emergence of “black consciousness”, particularly in that it was driven and supported by Garveyism, leading to raising “governmental alarm in the 1920s”, and also as a result of “organised labour unrest and communism”. Discusses civil unrest and indeed resistance as a consequence of “Africanism” and this emerging “black consciousness” and development of collective identity.
Power and Resistance: US Imperialism in Latin America Paper discusses the evolution of the methods by which the US government influenced Latin American states in order to make itself more powerful. “Prior to WW2 the preferred mode action for US imperialism in support of its strategic interests was military direct intervention”. After WW2, the US opted for a “less confrontational and violent way of securing the conditions needed for advancing capitalism”. It is relevant to compare the different internal responses to these different methods of interference as it could logically follow that an ensnared subject will be less resistant to less violent methods of politcoeconomic coercion. The author argues that US strategies assume different forms in response to distinct stages of capitalism.
Eurasia Letter: Will Ukraine Return to Russia? Discussion of the likelihood of Ukraine returning to Russia. Salient arguments include the Western vs Eastern “dichotomy” wherein Western Ukraine is the “hotbed of Ukrainian nationalism… it is the least Russified and maintains less attachment to Moscow by reason of religion, ethnicity or language than any other region of Ukraine”. “Armed resistance to soviet occupation continued well into the 1950s”. Here we see the significance of shared culture, ethnicity and language when investigating the level of resistance of submissiveness of a state to its imperial dominator. Clearly, Eastern Ukrainians who share more Russian culture and ethnicity (Western Ukraine has strong Polish ties) are going to be less resistant to their incorporation into an imperial force than a region which shares far fewer cultural characteristics.
Brexit, Boundaries, and Imperial Identities: A comparative view By Dr Andrew Garnder An exploration of how the coming of Brexit and its notions is a reflection of a still standing imperialistic identity. With the notion of a 'pure' nation and 'britishness' being something of high value, it is archaic in its belief of being a superior culture undiluted by the European Union. A large part of the British culture was built off of its colonising history, therefore bringing imperialistic ideas to the present day when still supported - proving the change it can make, as it now forces a nation to detach itself. To what extent does imperialism bring about change?
Imperialism in the 21st century: Global value chains and international labour arbitrageUclqlip (discusscontribs) 10:50, 30 October 2018 (UTC) Main argument: This article states the new form of imperialism in 21th century, exploring its contemporary value. Imperialism exists in shape of global value chains and global value networks. The evolution of capitalism as imperialism did not end with the export of capital that Lenin identified as a central marker of imperialism. This article deals with the economic mechanisms at play in producing various types or forms of imperialism from different perspectives such as imperialism as trade, export of capital, outsourcing and offshoring. Also, it analyzes the nature of international labor arbitrage, comparing it with unequal theories of imperialism. What is the contemporary value of imperialism?
The commercial value of imperialismUclqlip (discusscontribs) 10:50, 30 October 2018 (UTC) Main argument: This passage describes the economic value of imperialism by comparing data of trade from different time periods and areas. Stated in the argument is that the total import trade of British colonies had increased at a much greater rate than those of UK. It can be concluded that the external trade beard a small proportion to internal industry and it was not so much as people thought before. What is the contemporary value of imperialism?
Imperialism and colonialism. In Enemies and passing friends: settler ideologies in twentieth-century Ulster by Pamela Clayton Clozinskabrown (discusscontribs) 19:30, 30 October 2018 (UTC) This paper explains the relationship between imperialism and colonialism. The author explains how colonialism was often used as another form of imperialism. Western countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, felt as if it were there ‘duty’ to spread their knowledge as ‘developed’ and ‘civilised’ countries to less developed ones. This resulted in the spread of western languages, religion (which was often Christianity), and politico-legal systems. The paper also goes on to explore the self-justification of these colonial empires through the concept of civilisation. Additionally, the racist perspectives colonists had upon the colonies are related to the idea of civilisation, and how the West was considered developed whilst other countries were less developed. Furthermore, the West’s perspective of themselves as ‘civilised’ elevated the racial and imperialist attitudes, as they would only use this to further justify their actions. To what extent is inequality an imperialistic legacy?
Linguistic Imperialism: African Perspectives Clozinskabrown (discusscontribs) 19:30, 30 October 2018 (UTC) The author argues of the importance of implementing multilingualism within education on the African continent, as most countries have several indigenous languages. He argues that generalising views cause the stigmatisation of African languages, which has resulted in a general consensus upon the importance of a national language to aid in communication. This at the same time downplays the cultural importance of indigenous languages which relates to cultural identity. Hence, this paper illustrates the impact of linguistic imperialism. To what extent does imperialism bring about (or even force) change?
Education and the new imperialism(Tilky, 2006)


New imperialism is defined as the process of incorporating low income countries, including ex-colonies, into global governance. Western powers influence other economies in this way, bringing about economic and political gain to themselves, often at the expense of the lower income countries. The western view is often imposed on these lower income countries, influencing their development in a direction of western ideals. What is the contemporary influence of imperialism?

(Political aspects)

The new age of imperialism(Foster, 2003)


This article suggests that the governance of the US in the 20thcentury bore imperialist elements.  The economy tended towards a capitalist monopoly, something Lenin referred to as a stage of imperialism. Capitalism and imperialism are distinct, as free markets are an essential attribute of capitalism, whereas markets are controlled under imperialism. However, the US made movements to establish control over world markets, which can be seen as imperialist. It is also suggested that elements of US military involvement are imperialist in nature. What is the contemporary influence of imperialism? (Political aspects)
Critical Imperialism, George Scialabba Argues against the idea that imperialism has a definite, all-encompassing influence on modern culture as is suggested by others: whilst it is acknowledged that media is not produced in a vacuum and is thus inevitably influenced by the social, political, economic etc. context it is created in, and so creators of media were at least somewhat aware of imperialist ideas, arguing that all media conveys imperial influence isn’t true. To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world?
Culture and Imperialism: Julianne Burton and Jean Franco Burton and Franco argue that living in a capitalist society has led to the development of commodity culture; living in the age of mass media means that in modern society, this media is “instrumental” in continuing to convey imperialist ideas. The ability to rapidly transfer information globally is now even more significant than establishments such as the education system and religion in reinforcing imperialist ideas to the colonized. To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world?
Digital Platforms, Imperialism and Political Culture, Chapter 2: The Evolution of Imperialism in the 21st Century, Dal Yong Jin Acknowledges the role of the digital economy in ensuring the dominance of the US in areas such as culture and technology, and thus its domination of the information sphere - but also questions the relevance of “cultural imperialism” in modern society, noting that in the current “global media environment” ideas of western domination of media may be outdated. To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world?
Media Imperialism: An Assessment The article takes an in-depth look at the effects of media on the world, especially in terms of Western colonization. Media imperialism plays a large role in shaping people’s views, due to the exposure of media to the masses as well as the media homogeneity inherent in mass media from large countries. Media imperialism hence reinforces the dependency of Third World countries on Western colonization, and are “seen as having little chance of achieving self-sustained internal growth or modernization”. This system hence creates “increasingly serious internal difficulties and a deterioration of their position in international trade and finance”, emphasizing the hierarchical differences and imperialism in modern culture. To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world?
Whose World, What Beat: The Transnational Music Industry, Identity, and Cultural Imperialism This article takes a look at imperialism and its effect on music and identity across the world. Whilst many may argue that it is easier for the Western culture to permeate “smaller” cultures through the medium of music, this article however argues for the ability of other cultures to develop in the face of Western influence and imperialism. With regards to imperialism, there are a few assumptions that may not hold true in today’s culture. For example, there is the tendency to “assume[s] audience passivity in the face of dominant cultural power and neglect[s] the active, creative dimension of popular music consumption” alongside the “conflat[ion] of economic power and cultural effects.” In fact, this article suggests that there may even be an argument that “Western culture” is a mish-mash of a different cultures and hence may not have changed traditional cultures and identities despite the wave of imperialism. To what extent does imperialism influence culture in the modern world?
Locating the Age of Imperialism, Thomas August Jbyrne38 (discusscontribs) 04:31, 31 October 2018 (UTC) This article suggests that imperialism gained historical relevance from its necessity in the interwar years. Using Britain and France as an example, the great war is presented as essential in establishing the importance of imperial trade in stabilising the western economy, as well as increasing capitalist concentration as outlined by Lenin. It is also suggested that the economic instability of the interwar years allowed for the acceptance of constructive imperialism as an ideology, leading to increased political control of the colonies. Are politico-economic reasons the main motivation behind imperialism?
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