Do you think it's possible that imperialism and empires will ever make a come-back?


Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
The very term "Homeland" implies dominion abroad.

What do you call a nation who has garrisoned troops and airbases and missile bases on a 1000 locations around the world?

I could go on..
Jun 2015
european empires were driven by economics and having better technology. There is no reason, if the current system broken down, that Russia couldn't' successfully annex most of the former USSR. Or a strong African country, with allies/neighbours such as Zimbabwe/South Africa, couldn't dominate the rest of southern Africa up to the Congo.

Or the USA the Caribbean or central America. For there to be aggressive states, there would have to be some collapse in the UN, or geopolitical morals for one regional power to dominate all of the others. Or a resource war, say a lack of water or crude oil.
Jan 2009
In the Past
If we continue the way we are with little change? No, I think traditional Imperial systems are done.

However, anything can happen. Perhaps a major economic downturn, or something major that allows people to gain power who would not normally have had a change.

I think a very important question is, "What counts as an Empire?" More then a few people think the US has an Empire through NATO and internationally stationed troops. Not an Empire by traditional definition.
Jun 2015
If a country like China became unstable, even now it could subdue most other countries around it. Or an African state could get its act together, annex its neighbours and start to even encroach on the Mediterreanean and Suez, thus threatening global shipping.
Jan 2009
In the Past
If a country like China became unstable, even now it could subdue most other countries around it. Or an African state could get its act together, annex its neighbours and start to even encroach on the Mediterreanean and Suez, thus threatening global shipping.
China is a nation with a million and one cracks. It is kept together with sheer authority. Should it loosen the ropes too much, those cracks would surface. Should it agress against most of it's neighbors in a more military manner, it would risk more then it would gain.
Nov 2015
Bye, bye
Yes of course
Why would we think that history 's ended?
Empire existed and will exist again.

Moreover, are they stil existing at the moment?
Some foreign policies can be seen as expression of imperialism.

To support this point of view, we can point out many "obvious" (according me) examples of actual"Empire".

American's foreign Policy with many military basis everywhere in the world and many favourable commercial agreements , as for instance, in South America or with the "control" and protection of main oïl producers of the planet (even if this seems to change recently on behalf of the USA ) can be seen as imperialist.

Or Chinese territorial expansion Policy in the "Chinese sea" faced to philippines, Japan, Vietnam and agressive diplomatic talking in international tribune.
Chinese territories buying in Africa in order to take into control cereals productions zones.

French "pres carré" in Africa with any militaries basis in order to preserve diplomatic and economic influence (weapons business for example) and to protect of shore oïl production in Gabon.

Russian foreign Policy (maybe more "defensive" than offensive) is another example of the defense of a former empire influence zone.

After all we can compare (in a certain way, of course) Roman Empire B.C with american Empire during the cold war.
By the way Roman Empire of this period, was mainly set up thanks to a non direct control provided by puppets Kings , we can say that's aproximately the same for puppet's governments Under American control in South america during the 1960's or the 1970's .

What about big international trust Policy linked to foreign governments ones?
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Jul 2016
Memphis TN
They are already returning, just not in a different form. Instead of direct annexation and control, countries are creating informal empires of political and economic influence. The most important and yet still obscure development is the Chinese economic penetration of Africa. This is much like United Fruit was doing in Central America a century ago or even the John Company in British India. Perhaps in the future this could even lead to annexation but I doubt it as its more beneficial to China to just quietly take resources to fuel the largest industrial machine yet in human history. Note how the motivation (resources to sustain a industrializing state) is the same as that of the British Empire.


Ad Honoris
May 2014
The world sort of got tired and fed up with these things from around the beginning of the First World War to after the Second World War, having seen the disastrous things they can lead to, and ever since, most first-world nations in the world have settled down into comfortable democracies that mind their own businesses (okay, excluding Vietnam and Iraq, but those wars weren't for the sake of imperialism and conquest, but for a myriad of other reasons, however genuine or not). Conquering weaker nations and taking their land and riches is no longer seen as acceptable, and it's very hard to imagine these things ever coming back into popularity.

But do you think it's at all possible that we'll ever see a world where empires re-emerge again, like the empires of the 18th century with France, Spain, England, etc?
Russia tried to recreate its empire through the Eurasian Union--though that attempt appears to be floundering right now for various reasons. Israel is still an empire right now due to its control of the West Bank. Otherwise, though, I just don't see empires making a comeback. As you said, Western countries are largely inclined to mind their own business nowadays and non-Western countries (with the exception of Russia) traditionally weren't that into the creation of empires. I mean, Yes, China did historically have a system of tributary states that it might eventually want to bring back to some extent, but that's not quite the same as an empire since these tributary states do technically maintain their independence--they just have to be friendly with China but otherwise can probably largely do whatever they want. I certainly don't see India ever engaging in the empire-building business (it's got too many problems to deal with at home to engage in this) and other than Western countries, Israel, Russia, China, and India, I just don't see any countries that are actually powerful enough to create an empire nowadays. Even Nigeria is probably way too poor and way too fragmented and internally divided to ever attempt any empire-building missions.

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