Department of History

Helpless Imperialists: Imperial Failure, Fear, and Radicalization

The Age of High Imperialism (1850–1950) is usually seen as a period of unchallenged economic, technological and military superiority of European colonial powers. This collection of essays, however, highlights another, far less studied aspect of this era, namely, the empires' frustration, vulnerability, and anxiety in pursuit of their imperial goals. The feeling of helplessness was a significant part of their experience and thus deserves more attention by students of empire. The essays explore the relationship between failing colonial ventures and the loss of imperial control on the one side, and overcompensation and the turn towards excessively violent methods of rule on the other. 

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Helpless Imperialists. Imperial Failure, Fear, and Radicalization. Co-edited with M. Reinkowski (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013)



book cover


  • Maurus Reinkowski, co-editor

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