Empire and Modern Political Thought

Empire and Modern Political Thought

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This collection of original essays by leading historians of political thought examines modern European thinkers' writings about conquest, colonization and empire. The creation of vast transcontinental empires and imperial trading networks played a key role in the development of modern European political thought. The rise of modern empires raised fundamental questions about virtually the entire contested set of concepts that lay at the heart of modern political philosophy, such as property, sovereignty, international justice, war, trade, rights, transnational duties, civilization and progress. From Renaissance republican writings about conquest and liberty to sixteenth-century writings about the Spanish conquest of the Americas through Enlightenment perspectives about conquest and global commerce and nineteenth-century writings about imperial activities both within and outside of Europe, these essays survey the central moral and political questions occasioned by the development of overseas empires and European encounters with the non-European world among theologians, historians, philosophers, diplomats and merchants.show more

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'... this book consists of twelve carefully written and tightly argued essays that add up to more than the sum of their parts ... the study of modern imperialism will oblige political scientists (and historians) to move outside our comfort zones, and to embrace approaches that are expedient, eclectic and trans-disciplinary. This fine volume should work as a catalyst, stimulating and facilitating further work as the enterprise it surveys moves ahead.' Theodore Koditschek, Canadian Journal of Historyshow more

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Machiavelli's three desires: Florentine republicans on liberty, empire, and justice Mikael Hornqvist; 2. Conquest and the just war: the 'School of Salamanca' and the 'affair of the Indies' Anthony Pagden; 3. Alliances with infidels in the European imperial expansion Richard Tuck; 4. John Locke: theorist of empire? David Armitage; 5. Montesquieu on empire and enlightenment Michael Mosher; 6. Edmund Burke on empire, self-understanding and sympathy Uday S. Mehta; 7. Adam Smith in the British empire Emma Rothschild; 8. Conquest, commerce, and cosmopolitanism in Enlightenment political thought Sankar Muthu; 9. Liberalism, nation, and empire: the case of J. S. Mill Pratap Bhanu Mehta; 10. Republicanism, liberalism, and empire in post-revolutionary France Jennifer Pitts; 11. Colonies and empire in the political thought of Hegel and Marx Gabriel Paquette; 12. Social theory in the age of empire Karuna Mantena; 13. Political theory of empire and imperialism: an appendix Jennifer Pitts.show more

About Sankar Muthu

Sankar Muthu is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Enlightenment against Empire.show more

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