When: Graz, 30 September – 1 October 2016
Where: Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, and the University of Exeter
For more than forty years, Yugoslavia was one of the most internationalist and outward looking of all socialist countries in Europe, playing leading roles in various trans-national initiatives – principally as central participant within the Non-Aligned Movement – that sought to remake existing geopolitical hierarchies and rethink international relations. Both moral and pragmatic motives often overlapped in its efforts to enhance cooperation between developing nations, propagate peaceful coexistence in a divided world and pioneer a specific non-orthodox form of socialism.
We live surrounded by things. A typical German owns 10,000 objects. In Los Angeles, a middle-class garage often no longer houses a car but several hundred boxes of stuff. The United Kingdom in 2013 was home to 6 billion items of clothing, roughly a hundred per adult; a quarter of these never leave the wardrobe. Of course, people always had things, and used them not only to survive but for ritual, display and fun. But the possessions in a pre-modern village or an indigenous tribe pale when placed next to the growing mountain of things in advanced societies like ours. Continue reading “Empire of Things”
From militant Third World liberation to the fallacy of collective memory, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”
Recently, an upturn in indigenous struggles in Australia have seen the legacies of colonialism and genocide forced back onto the national radar. Protests against the closure of indigenous communities, the continued forced removal of Aboriginal children by welfare agencies, and the birth of youth-led groups like Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) are but a few examples of this. Instead of the sanitised government-sponsored campaign to ‘Recognise’ indigenous peoples in the Australian constitution, many of these activists are looking back to the global struggles of the 1960s and 1970s for their political inspiration. Continue reading ““Malcolm X Exploded in My Mind”: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Indigenous Activists”
From how the Soviet Union capitalised on US discrimination to throwing out the balance sheet of the British Empire, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”
The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History by Tonio Andrade (Princeton University Press, 2016).
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa
Cross-posted from Asian Review of Books
Tonio Andrade, a professor at Emory University, has written a well-researched, balanced, and comparative history of military innovation in Asia and the West in which he challenges the traditional notion—set forth most compellingly by Victor Davis Hanson in Carnage and Culture and Niall Ferguson in Civilization—that Western culture largely explains Western global predominance in the post-medieval world.
Although Andrade frames the book around the invention of gunpowder by the Chinese and its subsequent employment in warfare by both Chinese and Western powers, his principal focus is to explain why in certain historical time periods Chinese and Western military innovation surged or remained static, and more specifically why there developed a “Great Military Divergence” between China and Western powers during the mid-18th century into the 19th century. The key factor, he concludes, is not culture but the Toynbeean phenomenon of “challenge and response”. Continue reading “The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History”