After a long hiatus, when it was seemingly banished to the wilderness of esoteric academic debate, imperialism is back as one of the buzzwords of the day. In the past decade in particular, scholars, policy-makers and political pundits have been using the term with increasing frequency in their commentary on contemporary international relations. Many have invoked it as an old specter only to nervously deny its contemporary applicability. Meanwhile, the term has continued to be applied to a diverse range of ecomic, political, cultural and linguistic phemena. The sudden popularity of the term has created confusion about what it means and why we should care about it. Regardless of whether it is used as an invective or an ideal, imperialism has turned into an all-encompassing buzzword that many use, though few can really define. Imperialism Past and Present seeks to clarify the prevailing confusion and provide a clear, concise account of imperialism, as well as to introduce readers to the fundamental logic, as well as the complex manifestations of imperialism. It also aims to offer a succinct review and interpretation of the complex experiences that constituted the history of imperialism. The authors contend that imperialism remains at the heart of recent events and ongoing processes that define contemporary politics, and they look at the way that it applies in the post-Cold War period.
Emanuele Saccarelli and Latha Varadarajan are both Associate Professors of Political Science at San Diego State University.