• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography provides students of the sub-discipline with a highly contextualized and systematic overview of the latest thinking and research. Edited by key scholars, with international contributions from acknowledged authorities on the relevant research, The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography is divided into six sections: Scope and Development of Political Geography; Geographies of the State; Participation and Representation; Political Geographies of Difference; Geography, Policy, and Governance; and Global Political Geographies.

Introduction: Imperialism, Colonialism, Capitalism and Modern Empires

Since the word ‘imperialism’ was first used to describe a systematic policy of French state-driven expansion in the late nineteenth-century, and then applied to the British government's attempts to defend and expand its own pre-existing empire, various scholars have tried to devise general, systematic theories to explain the globalized power relations that the term conjures up.

Marx, Luxemburg, Lenin and the Marxist scholars who followed them related imperialism to the crises of accumulation that were inherent in Europe's advanced capitalist systems during the late nineteenth-century. For them, ‘The drive to imperial expansion must be explained as one element in the whole process of capitalist development’ (Brewer, 1990: 2). The emphasis in terms of exactly how capitalism and imperialism are ...

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