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Empire Studies and the imperial turn are flourishing in the last decades. Empires have been scrutinized through various aspects and focused on by different perspectives and approaches. However, there are still major shortcomings and lacunae in all these previous studies that have to be addressed. The classifications and definitions so far proposed are still debatable and the selection of what is regarded to represent an "empire" is rather unsystematic. Comprehensive structural connections that transcend epochs and historical periods are only partially taken into consideration. This is often due to a lack of concrete questions and concepts and an only recently arising awareness of different types of empires through all periods. Last but not least, recent empire studies still tend to be mainly focused on the modern and contemporary era. As a consequence, they are not only chronologically concentrated on the last centuries but are also prone to a Eurocentric perspective. The newly established series intends to overcome these deficits by putting comparative empire studies on an entirely new basis.
This new approach admits a global and universal dimension in empire studies. Geographically it attempts to take into account the entire globe, chronologically all epochs from antiquity to the very present time. This voices an express dissociation of any Eurocentric focus and implies a confession to place empire studies within a world history perspective. Consequently, the new series tries to provide a methodologically clearly structured as well as a uniform and consistent approach by developing a general set of questions that guarantees the possibility to compare and distinguish. This way we intend to examine not only already well-known empires but also to illuminate forgotten imperial formations. As a whole, the series will work as a kind of data base that will enhance any future empire studies.
Editor in chief: Robert Rollinger, University of Innsbruck.
Editor Pre-Industrial Empires: Kai Ruffing, University of Kassel.
Editor Industrial Empires: Jens Oliver Schmitt, University of Vienna.