Chapter

Introduction

Sally N. Cummings and Raymond Hinnebusch

in Sovereignty After Empire

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748643042
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653270 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748643042.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to bring theory on empire and on sovereignty to bear in a systematic comparison of empires and of their varying consequences for sovereignty in two regions: the Middle East/North Africa and Central Asia. It then examines the dependent variable, sovereignty, its interpretations, and, in particular, conceptualizations of how sovereignty varies in the post-imperial world. It considers the independent variable, that is, the concept of empire and historical variations in empire. In this it draws on comparative historical literature on empires to identify their shared features and their major distinctions, most importantly that between bureaucratic territorial and maritime commercial empires. It also compares actual impacts of empires by drawing additionally on the wider body of existent histories of empire in the two regions. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: empire; sovereignty; Middle East; Central Asia; North Africa

Chapter.  9043 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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