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Informal Empire (HEC-RS-EMPIR-22)


Department HEC
Course category HEC Research Seminar
Course type Seminar
Academic year 2022-2023
Credits 1 (EUI History seminars)
Contact Parrini, Alba
  Course materials

19/01/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

26/01/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

02/02/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

09/02/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

16/02/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

24/02/2023 10:00-18:00 @ Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati

25/02/2023 9:15-13:15 @ Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana


This seminar investigates a range of practices and practitioners of what is often called ‘informal Empire’. Our approach examines a range of imperial practices and, in so doing, seeks to challenge the implicit hierarchy of modern European colonialism that makes France and Britain into emblematic cases from which other, allegedly less successful empires, diverged. It also seeks to look beyond the nation-state as a moniker for Empires, and looks instead at individuals: people from the realms of finance, business, and science, whose undertakings shaped Europe’s global relations, albeit often unintentionally. At the same time, we also examine how local peoples engaged with these same practices and principles of empire in order to pursue their own particular ends. 
We do not focus primarily on definitions of empires or of colonial rule, although we do discuss the character and legacies of both. Instead, we emphasize the many varieties of colonialism and the many possible, sometimes even hidden, layers of imperial rule in different global contexts. In short, we aim to replace existing typologies of empire by exploring more diverse sites and practitioners of empire, and to enlarge our understanding of what constitutes an ‘informal Empire’

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Page last updated on 21 September 2018

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