This colloquium brings together a stellar cast of historians and theorists of empire who will explore the role of bureaucracy in European empires from late antiquity to the modern world.
Bureaucracies provided empires with a means of articulating power and marshalling resources in regions remote from the imperial core. But while the growth of bureaucracy underpinned much of Europe’s expansionist dynamic, it also served in certain cases as a drag on imperial power, creating tensions that led ineluctably to fragmentation and colonial independence.
The colloquium seeks to move investigation of the concept of ‘bureaucracy’ beyond its narrow institutional sense (an aspect of the subject closely investigated by an older school of imperial historians). Instead it sets out to explore how bureaucracy operated as an aspect of the social systems and political cultures of empires. Collectively the papers will make a major contribution to the diachronic study of European empires.
Bernard Bachrach, Minnesota • David S. Bachrach, New Hampshire • Michael Broers, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford • Nicholas Canny, University College Galway • Fred Cooper, New York University • John Darwin, Nuffield College, Oxford • Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington • John Gillingham, London School of Economics • Chris Given-Wilson, St Andrews • Jack P. Greene, Johns Hopkins • John Haldon, Princeton University • István Kristó-Nagy, Exeter • Timothy Parsons, Washington University in St Louis • Len Scales, Durham • George Steinmetz, Michigan • Chris Storrs, Dundee • Michael Whitby, Birmingham • Sam Whimster, London School of Economics
Dr Peter Crooks, Empires and Bureaucracy Conference, Department of History, Trinity College, Dublin 2
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