Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Photo of Sindre Gade Viksand by Jessica Björck

Sindre Gade Viksand

Doctoral student

Photo of Sindre Gade Viksand by Jessica Björck

Contentious colonies: The positional power of imperial peripheries

Author

  • Sindre Gade Viksand

Summary, in English

While structural models of empire have recently re-emerged in the theoretical debates in the field of International Relations, a lack of attention has been paid to peripheral actors therein. This is particularly true for the analysis of the peripheries’ relations with polities outside the imperial structure of which the peripheries are a part. In this article, I build a framework to better understand how these extra-imperial ties are translated into peripheral positional power. This framework is constructed on the basis of three core arguments. First, to theorise peripheral power, peripheries need to be positioned in networks outside the imperial structure. Second, the positional power of peripheries depends on the quality of the ties they have to external actors. Peripheries with dense and exclusive ties to external actors are more powerful than those with only sparse and non-exclusive ties. Third, from the different combinations of density and exclusivity arise not only variations in positional power, but also the likely strategies that are engaged in forming alliances with external actors. These logics are illustrated through the study of two cases of the diplomacy of decolonisation: the American Revolutionary War and the Angolan War of Independence.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year

2020-06-04

Language

English

Publication/Series

Review of International Studies

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Topic

  • Political Science

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0260-2105