Модерные империи и их значение для современности
The modern world is living through a turbulent time of change, as traditional ways of organizing social and political life are being reshaped. The nation-state, once seen as the most successful and effective model, is now in a state of crisis. It never did take root in the Muslim-dominated Middle East. The secular-nationalist project, launched there in the middle of the 20th century, was radically re-imagined, if not completely scrapped. In Latin America,the introduction of the nation state failed to produce a major boost in development for the local communities, and, to a large extent,served to perpetuate the problems it was intended to solve. In Europe, nation states are facing existential challenges. An incremental and sustainable path of development came to replaced by income inequality, inter-cultural conflicts and political destabilization.No matter how convincing it sounded at the end of the 20th century, the idea that building nation-states would place us on the highway towards progressing human civilization, failed to materialize. In fact, the opposite was true: in recent decades, it was the countries which had implemented alternative models of socio-political organization that proved to be most successful. French philosopher Pierre Manent believed that over its entire history humanity has come up with only three forms of political organization: the city-state, the nation-state and the empire. In what combination are the elements of these three forms present in the modern world, characterised by the growing importance of large urban centers, strengthening of political, bureaucratic and financial powers, and a continued search for hybrid forms combining nationalism with the traits of an empire? What will these combinations look like in the future? Answering these questions would take several books . The authors of this report set a less ambitious, but more clearly defined goal – to show the extent to which imperial legacy is still relevant to today’s political process. The concept of empire is far from obsolete. The principles and goals at its core exist beyond any specific historical circumstances. However, like any organism, it is changing and evolving. Without a good grasp of its fundementals, it is impossible to predict what direction its development will take in the 21st century. The first chapter of the report, prepared by A . Miller, focuses on the balance between the imperial and the national in the historical experience of various countries of world. The essay by A . Vershinin covers the transformation of empires in the 20th century, and takes a closer look at the most notable attempts at empire-building in the modern times. The third Chapter, by S . Kaspe, examines the theory of empire and the ways it can be applied to modernity. The report concludes with another article by A . Miller, who talks about the role Russia’s imperial heritage plays at the current stage of the country’s development.