Empire and Emancipation: Power and Liberation on a World Scale

JP Nederveen Pieterse

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic


Marxist perspectives equate imperialism with capitalism. Preoccupation with the economics of empire over the last century has obscured the politics of empire. While there are many regional or period studies on the subject of emancipation, they lack the wide-angled approach necessary for a global understanding of the forces at work.In Empire and Emancipation Jan Nederveen Pieterse breaks with traditional approaches to imperialism to present a more balanced view of history, one that examines the logic of liberation as well as the logic of imperialism. As the author points out in his introduction, 'We appear to know more and to think more about domination than about liberation. Does this indicate that in our general perception history is chiefly made from above?' He identified several continuities and discontinuities of imperial history: between European and non-European dimensions of empire, between aristocratic and capitalist modes, between 'race' within Europe and beyond, between the British Empire and United States' hegemony.Nederveen Pieterse examines class struggles in the Western world, the Irish struggle, the struggles of American Indians, and of the African diaspora, to bring together in one historical perspective the experiences and projects of the world's most powerful and most powerless.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages420
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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