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Political Economy of Empire Symposium

Empires – or political units made up of several territories and peoples, typically created by conquest and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries – have existed across recorded time, both ancient and modern. The political economy of empire as a scholarly enterprise can take several forms, including studying the costs required to maintain and defend the empire; the profits generated by peripheries (or “colonies”); the laws regulating trade within the empire and development within the colonies; and the conflicts within and across empires for current and future wealth. Scholars of comparative economic and political development have long studied empire, and modern formal and quantitative tools in social science – along with greater focus on and appreciation of the “deep roots” of history and their impact on contemporary political-economic decision making – have created new and exciting avenues for inquiry.

“Seeds of Secession: The Political Economy of the Spanish Empire’s Fragmentation” Fernando Arteaga (University of Pennsylvania)

“Rivalry and Empire: How Competition Among European States Shaped Imperialism”    Jan Vogler (University of Konstanz) 

Discussant: Alexandra Crone (Cornell University)


“The Empire Within: Longitudinal Evidence on the Expansion of Christian Missions in Colonial Africa”    Bastian Becker (University of Bremen)

“An Imperial Accident: Property Rights in the Philippines under U.S. Rule, 1902-39”    Leticia Arroyo Abad (CUNY-Hunter College) and Noel Maurer (George Washington University)

Discussant: Jack Paine (University of Rochester)


“Structured Stability Spending in Late Modern Empires: Japan, Germany, Ottoman Turkey, and Brazil”    Austin Mitchell (Tohoku University)

“Predatory Rules, Credible Commitment, and Tax Compliance in the Ottoman Balkans”  Yusuf Magiya (Columbia University)

Discussant: Asli Cansunar (University of Washington)


Manuscript/book Roundtable discussion:

Agents of Empire: English Imperial Governance and the Strategic Foundations of American Institutions by Sean Gailmard (UC-Berkeley)

Discussants: Daniel Carpenter (Harvard University) and Emily Sellars (Yale University)

Bedrosian Center