Western European Empires – from colonial past to postcolonial world


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General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro António Albuquerque e Castro de Almeida Cardim


Weekly - 3

Total - 224

Teaching language



Available soon


Acemoglu, Daren, Johnson, Simon and Robinson, James A. (2001). The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation. American Economic Review. Vol. 91 (5) December

Almeida, Miguel Vale de (2004). An Earth-Colored Sea: <Race,> Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese-Speaking World. New York, Berghahn Book

Buttner, Elizabeth (2016). Europe After Empire. Decolonization, Society and Culture. Cambridge, Cambridge UP

Gildea, Robert (2019), Empires of the Mind. The Colonial Past and the Politics of the Present. Cambridge, Cambridge UP

Jerónimo, M. B and Pinto, António C (2015), The Ends of European Colonial Empires. Cases and Comparisons. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Miller, Joseph C . (2012), The Problem of Slavery as History: A Global Approach. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Paquette, Gabriel (2019), The European Seaborne Empires: From the Thirty Years’ War to the Age of Revolutions. New Haven: Yale University Press

Teaching method

The course works as a weekly theoretical-practical seminar, with the thematic sessions being organized around the debate, under the supervision of the instructors, on problems and questions raised by the mandatory readings previously indicated. In addition, some study visits will be carried out.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Students will facilitate one seminar discussion of a PDF assigned article/book chapter reading by posing initial question(s) for discussion(20%), Students will hand in a 4,000-5,000 word-final essay focused on one or more of the main topics of the course contents(60%), student participation and therefore a part of the final grade grows from student participation in class discussions(20%)

Subject matter

1. Western European empires (16th-20th century)
1.1. European colonial rule in the Americas, Asia, and Africa
1.2. Resistance, negotiation, and accommodation to European colonial rule
1.3. European empires, economic growth and globalization
2. Colonial rule, race, and evolving social / cultural boundaries
2.1. Forms of exclusion and inclusion
2.2. Colonial societies, racial thinking, and evolving social / cultural boundaries. Slavery and the transatlantic slave trade
2.3. Contesting the colonial categorization
3. From the “New Imperialisms” to the end of European colonialism
3.1. “Civilizing missions” and colonial rule
3.2. Decolonization wars, late colonialism and anticolonial nationalisms
3.3. Imperial Endgames and Post-colonial memories
4. Performing and Exhibiting the Colonial in Contemporary Portugal
4.1. Performing the nation and the politics of multiculturalism
4.2. From Seville’s Expo 1992 to Lisbon’s Expo 1998
4.3. Black activism and the quest for the decolonization


Programs where the course is taught: