The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology offers a comprehensive and contemporary look at this evolving field of study. The focus is on political life itself and the chapters, written by a highly-respected and international team of authors, cover the core themes which need to be understood in order to study political life from a sociological perspective, or simply to understand the political world. The two volumes are structured around five key areas: PART 1: TRADITIONS AND PERSPECTIVES PART 2: CORE CONCEPTS PART 03: POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND MOVEMENTS PART 04: TOPICS PART 05: WORLD REGIONS This future-oriented and cross-disciplinary handbook is a landmark text for students and scholars interested in the social investigation of politics.
Chapter 25: The Concept of Empire
On 4th December 1977 Jean-Bédel Bokassa, who had recently dropped his title of President of the Central African Republic, crowned himself Sa Majesté Impériale Bokassa Ier, Empereur de Centrafrique, in an ostentatious ceremony which the global press savagely ridiculed as ‘clowning glory’ (Titley, 1997) and which the world's embarrassed monarchs and incredulous presidents, despite lavish invitations, carefully avoided. Two years later Bokassa's Western creditors, convinced that he was clinically insane, overthrew him in a quick coup d'état which ended the world's last formal empire.
Nobody mourned Emperor Bokassa. Not least because, in the late twentieth century, the idea of empire was viewed as a relic of a distant and oppressive ...