The Continuing Imperialism of Free Trade: Developments, Trends and the Role of Supranational Agents, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Continuing Imperialism of Free Trade

Developments, Trends and the Role of Supranational Agents, 1st Edition

Edited by Jo Grady, Chris Grocott


188 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-10-23
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In 1953, John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson shook the foundations of imperial history with their essay ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade’. They reshaped how historians saw the British empire, focussing not on the ‘red bits on the map’ and the wishes of policy makers in London, but rather on British economic and political influence globally. Expanding on this analysis, this volume provides an examination of imperialism which brings the reader right up to the present.

This book offers an innovative assessment and analysis of the history and contemporary status of imperial control. It does so in four parts, examining the historical emergence and traditions of imperialism; the relationships between the periphery and the metropolitan; the role of supranational agencies in the extension of imperial control; and how these connect to financialisation and international political economy. The book provides a dynamic and unique perspective on imperialism by bringing together a range of contributors – both established and up-and-coming scholars, activists, and those from industry – from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. In providing these authors a space to apply their insights, this engaging volume sheds light on the practical implications of imperialism for the contemporary world.

With a broad chronological and geographical sweep, this book provides theoretical and empirical engagements with the nature of imperialism and its effects upon societies. It will be of great interest to a broad range of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, especially those working in History, Politics, and Management and Organisation Studies.


"The changing fortunes of free trade in the current political economic turmoil make assessing the relevance of Gallagher’s and Robinson’s free-trade imperialism thesis crucial. This rich and insightful collection is a valuable aid in this task.", Lucia Pradella, King’s College London, UK

Table of Contents

List of Contributors. List of Tables and Photographs. Introduction: The Continuing Imperialism of Free Trade, Jo Grady and Chris Grocott. Part 1: The Imperialism of Free Trade in Historical Context. 1. Gladstone, Suakin and the Imperialism of British Liberalism, James Fargher. 2. Spain and Britain’s Informal Empire, Nick Sharman. 3. Economic Imperialism in Cuba, 1898-2017: Hegemony and Embargo, Adam Burns. Part 2: Periphery-Metropolitan Relationships. 4. Imperialism and the Military-Peasantry Complex, Gibson Burrell. 5. The Good Friday Agreement and Britain’s ‘Deep State’: Britain’s Long Goodbye and Speedy Return, Paul Stewart and Tommy McKearney. Part 3: Supra-National Agents of Imperialism. 6. Policy as a Tool of Economic Imperialism?, Martin Quinn. 7. The Role of Troika in the Greek Economic Crisis and its Social and Political Consequences, Costas Eleftheriou and Orestis Papadopoulos. 8. Lessons from Marikana? South Africa’s Sub-Imperialism and the Rise of Blockadia, Jasper Finkeldey. 9. Chile's trade policies in the context of US contemporary imperialism: The Free Trade Agenda and the loss of National Autonomy, José Miguel Ahumada. Part 4: Financialisation and the Continuing Imperialism of Free Trade. 10. Imperialism, Dirty Money Centres and the Financial Elite, Matthew Higgins, Veronica Morino and Nigel Iyer. 11. Commissioning Imperialism: EU Trade Deals Under Neoliberalism, Mark Dearn. Bibliography. Index

About the Editors


Jo Grady is Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations at the University of Sheffield Management School, UK. Her research focuses on pensions, neoliberalism, asymmetries of power in the employment relationship, gender, intersectionality and inequality, political economy, trade unions, and labour organisation.

Chris Grocott is Lecturer in Management and Economic History at the University of Leicester School of Business, UK. His research focuses upon the history of economic thought and political economy. Having trained as a historian, he still retains a significant research interest in British imperialism, not least all the history of British Gibraltar from 1704 to the present.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General