About this Event
The Centre for Grand Strategy and the Strategic Studies Research Theme presents: The Great Imperial Hangover: How Empires Have Shaped the World – Dr Samir Puri in conversation with Professor Patrick Porter, and chaired by Dr Flavia Gasbarri.
For the first time in millennia we live without formal empires. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel their presence rumbling through history. From Russia’s incursions in Ukraine to Brexit; from Trump’s ‘America-first’ policy to China’s forays into Africa; from Modi’s India to the hotbed of the Middle East, Puri, provides a bold new framework for understanding the world’s complex rivalries and politics. The Great Imperial Hangover has been featured in the Financial Times “2020 year ahead in books”. Advance praise comes from Robert D. Kaplan (The Return of Marco Polo’s World) who has called it “an excellent read”. And from Paul Strathern (A History of the World in Ten Empires), who considers it “masterly. I found new insights on almost every page. It achieves the remarkable feat of deepening our self-knowledge while at the same time broadening our understanding of the world around us”.
Samir Puri was raised in 1980s and 1990s London in a family that had traversed three continents in three generations, from Asia to Africa to Europe. He later completed a PhD at Cambridge University in International Relations, worked at RAND, and then the Foreign Office, where his assignments covered counter terrorism, and a year in east Ukraine monitoring the onset of war in 2014. After government service, Dr Puri became a lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London, and also taught at Cambridge and Johns Hopkins. The Great Imperial Hangover is a distillation of these varied perspectives: from the academic to the practical; from the personal to the political; and from the descendants of the colonized to those of the colonizers.
Patrick Porter is Chair in International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow at the Quincy Institute of Responsible Statecraft and the Royal United Services Institute. His research interests are great power politics, foreign and defence policy in the US and UK, and realism in International Relations, with a particular focus on the interaction of power and ideas, and the problems of hubris, overstretch and self-defeating behaviour. His book Blunder: Britain’s War in Iraq was shortlisted for the British Army Military Book of the Year Prize, 2019.
Flavia Gasbarri is lecturer in War Studies Education, co-Chair of the Africa Research Group and member of the Centre for Grand Strategy at the Department of War Studies. She completed her PhD in War Studies at King’s College London in 2014, with a project entitled “The United States and the end of the Cold War in Africa, 1988-1994” for which she received a scholarship from the KCL Graduate School and three grants from the Royal Historical Society, the European Association for American Studies and the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. She was also awarded a six-month Visiting Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington DC.
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