Migration and the Dynamics of Empire

Do all roads lead to the new (American) Rome? The imperial task has always been affected by the movement of peoples. It still is.

Issue: Spring 2003

The first decade of the 21st century, like the first decade of the 20th, is an age of empire. A hundred years ago, however, there were many empires. They included both the overseas empires of the national states of western Europe--particularly those of Britain, France, Portugal and the Netherlands--and the overland empires of the multinational states ruled by the Habsburg, Romanov and Ottoman dynasties. Today, there is only one empire--the global empire of the United States, a state which is neither national nor multinational in the traditional sense, but which is more accurately described as multicultural and transnational. This new and historically strange American empire is the context and the arena in which all the great and global events of our time are taking place.

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