Essays should be no more than 4,000 words in length. Details about where work needs to be submitted, and when, will be announced by the Honours’ administrator during the course of the semester.
1. Is modern imperialism best understood as a consequence of capitalism or as a consequence of ‘atavistic’ pre-capitalist interests and attitudes? You should outline and assess at least TWO significant theories of empire in developing your answer.
2. What drove the expansion of European empires: metropolitan interests or actors and events at the edges of imperial control? You should outline and assess at least TWO significant theories of empire in developing your answer.
3. What is more important in understanding imperialism: culture or economics? You should outline and assess at least TWO significant theories of empire in developing your answer.
4. Describe, and then critically evaluate, the account of imperialism provided by ONE of the following authors or pair of authors: Edward Said; Joseph Schumpeter; Cain and Hopkins; Robinson and Gallagher; V.I. Lenin or N. Bukharin.
5. To what extent did the European ‘discovery’ of the Americas challenge existing European intellectual and cultural understanding?
6. What were the causes and consequences of ‘popular imperialism’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
7. Consider the ways in which European imperialism affected ONE aspect of the social lives of colonized peoples.
8. Critically assess whether Edward Said is right to suggest that Karl Marx ‘succumbed’ to the dominant stereotypes about Indian society in his writings.
9. Why was sexuality such a persistent concern for European colonial authorities?
10. To what extent was European colonialism shaped by an existing gendered social order, and to what extent did it disrupt that order?
11. In what ways, and with what effects, was modern imperialism criticised within Europe?
12. Focussing on at least ONE specific example, consider the nature and consequences of resistance to European imperialism.
13. Describe and assess the ways in which imperialism shaped the development of modern Scotland.