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The course looks at the history and politics of empires and their legacy in the contemporary world. It analyses specific imperial formations, from classical Rome through to the contemporary era. It explores comparative and theoretical debates concerning the notion of imperialism and power, the ideology, design, function and administration of empires, the nature of forms of their power projection, the way they manage multiple ethnicities, minorities, identities and nationalisms within their borders, as well as the dynamics of their success and decline. Themes covered will include the emergence of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the European Empires from the 15th to the 19th Centuries, the Soviet and American Empires of the bipolar world as well as the rise of new contemporary empires such as that of China and Russia. A special emphasis will be given to the rise of the European Union Empire, its relationship with its immediate and wider neighborhood, including the region of North Africa, and its relationship with other such imperial entities in the world within the context of modern globalization.
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