Imperial Inequalities

The politics of economic governance across European empires

Edited by Gurminder Bhambra and Julia McClure

Imperial Inequalities
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526166142
  • Publish Date: Nov 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526166135
  • Publish Date: Nov 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    Imperial Inequalities takes Western European empires and their legacies as the explicit starting point for discussion of issues of taxation and welfare. In doing so, it addresses the institutional and fiscal processes involved in modes of extraction, taxation, and the hierarchies of welfare distribution across Europe's global empires. The idea of 'imperial inequalities' provides a conceptual frame for thinking about the long-standing colonial histories that are responsible, at least in part, for the shape of present inequalities.

    This wide-ranging volume challenges existing historiographical accounts that present states and empires as separate categories. Instead, it views them as co-constitutive units by focusing upon the politics of economic governance across imperial spaces. Authors examine the fiscal innovations that enabled European empires to finance their expansion, the politics of redistribution that were important to constructing the veneer of legitimacy of taxation, and the fiscal mechanisms that were established to ensure that the imperial contours of inequality continued to define the postcolonial world. These diverse contributions provide new resources for how we think about issues of taxation and welfare across the longue durée.

    This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10, Reduced inequalities


    Preface: Fiscal democracy and the legacy of empire - Quinn Slobodian


    Introduction: Imperial Inequalities - Gurminder K. Bhambra and Julia McClure

    Part I: Institutional and fiscal issues
    1 The great gage: Mortgaging Ireland to finance an empire - David Brown
    2 The cost of thrift: The politics of 'financial autonomy' in the French colonial empire, 1900-14 - Madeline Woker
    3 Madagascar and French imperial mercantilism: Foreign trade and domestic crises, 1895-1914 - Samuel F. Sanchez
    4 The right to sovereign seizure? Taxation, valuation, and the Imperial British East Africa Company - Emma Park
    5 Internal inequalities: Taxpayers, taxation, and expenditure in Sierra Leone, c. 1890s to 1937 - Laura Channing

    Part II: Taxation and welfare
    6 Taxation, welfare, and inequalities in the Spanish imperial state - Julia McClure
    7 Political economies of welfare of the Spanish Empire: Tax and charity for the Hospital de los Naturales of Potosí - Camille Sallé
    8 Poverty, health, and imperial wealth in early modern Scotland - Andrew Mackillop
    9 Compromise and adaptation in colonial taxation: Political-economic governance and inequality in Indonesia - Maarten Manse
    10 Imperial revenue and national welfare: The case of Britain - Gurminder K. Bhambra

    Part III: Post-colonial legacies
    11 Making investor states: Haitian foreign debt and neocolonial economic governance in nineteenth-century France - Alexia Yates
    12 The lure of the welfare state following decolonisation in Kenya - Lyla Latif
    13 From capitation taxes to tax havens: British fiscal policies in a colonial island world - Gregory Rawlings
    14 Imperial extraction and 'tax havens' - Alex Cobham
    15 The Crown Agents and the CDC Group: Imperial extraction and development's 'private sector turn' - Paul Robert Gilbert

    Afterword: Imperialism and global inequalities - Heloise Weber



    Gurminder K. Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex

    Julia McClure is Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval and Early Modern Global History in the School of Humanities, University of Glasgow

    Imperial Inequalities

    Edited by Gurminder Bhambra, Julia McClure

    Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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