The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire offers the most comprehensive treatment of the causes, course, and consequences of the ends of empire in the twentieth century. The volume's contributors convey the global reach of decolonization, with chapters analysing the empires of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, China and Japan.
The Handbook combines broad, regional treatments of decolonization with chapter contributions constructed around particular themes or social issues. It considers how the history of decolonization is being rethought as a result of the rise of the 'new' imperial history, and its emphasis on race, gender, and culture, as well as the more recent growth of interest in histories of globalization, transnational history, and histories of migration and diaspora, humanitarianism and development, and human rights.
The Handbook, in other words, seeks to identify the processes and commonalities of experience that make decolonization a unique historical phenomenon with a lasting resonance. In light of decades of historical and social scientific scholarship on modernization, dependency, neo-colonialism, 'failed state' architectures and post-colonial conflict, the obvious question that begs itself is 'when did empires actually end?' In seeking to unravel this most basic dilemma the Handbook explores the relationship between the study of decolonization and the study of globalization. It connects histories of the late-colonial and post-colonial worlds, and considers the legacies of empire in European and formerly colonised societies.
Martin Thomas, Professor of History, University of Exeter,Andrew Thompson, Professor of History, University of Exeter
Martin Thomas is Professor of Imperial History and Director of the Centre for the Study of War, State, and Society at the University of Exeter. A specialist in the politics of contested decolonization, his most recent publications are Violence and Colonial Order: Police, Workers and Protest in the European Colonial Empires, 1918-1940 (2012), Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire (2014), and, with co-author Richard Toye, Arguing about Empire: Imperial Rhetoric in Britain and France (2017). He is an Independent Social Research Foundation Fellow and coordinator of a Leverhulme Trust research network, Understanding Insurgencies: Resonances from the Colonial Past.
Andrew Thompson's previous publications include The Empire Strikes Back? The Impact of Imperialism on Britain from the Mid-Nineteenth Century (2005), Empire and Globalisation. Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850-1914 (2010), and an edited collection, Britain's Experience of Empire in the Twentieth Century (2011). He is currently a Council member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and serves on the editorial boards of South African Historical Journal and Twentieth Century British History.