The paper discusses the usefulness of the concept of empire in the study of the European Union, the integration process and the development EU’s external relations. In order to do so, it reflects critically on the use of this concept in the broader context of contemporary polities and selected European empires of the past. The paper argues that colonial empires are just one type of empires and that another type should be given more scholarly attention. In order to account for the diversity of imperial patterns observed, the paper suggests using two concepts, inwards imperial governance and outwards imperial governance. Using these two concepts instead of one undifferentiated concept of empire makes it possible to shed a different light on the EU’s alleged empirehood and its evolution over time. It also offers an analytical tool that can account for differences between different empires of the past as well as between contemporary candidates for empirehood and past empires.
|Place of Publication||San Domenico di Fiesole|
|Publisher||European University Institute|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Series||EUI Working Papers Series RSCAS|