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Imperialism

  • By: Steven Flusty
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Imperialism is the process of forcibly expanding state authority over autonomous foreign territory by means of military conquest. More broadly, imperialism is the complex of practices through which one population establishes and maintains instrumental control over the spaces, resources, and everyday lives of another. Imperialism is also the ideology through which a population is persuaded to support its domination of another and persuades that other to accept such domination.

There is no single and authoritative definition of empire, and it could even be claimed that any attempt to assert such a definition would itself be an imperializing act. Despite this, differing conceptions of imperialism and its root cognate—empire—do converge on certain principal geopolitical characteristics. Most broadly, imperialism entails the usurpation by an alien power of ...

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