Hegemonic Peace and Empire

The Pax Romana, Britannica and Americana

By Ali Parchami

© 2009 – Routledge

272 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138819719
pub: 2014-09-12
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415492546
pub: 2009-02-17
US Dollars$150.00

About the Book

This book examines the language and the ideology of the Pax Romana, the Pax Britannica and the Pax Americana within the broader contexts of 'hegemony' and 'empire'. It addresses three main themes: a conceptual examination of the way in which hegemony has been justified; a linguistic study of how the notion of pax (usually translated as peace) has been used in ancient and modern times; and a study of the international orders created by Rome and Britain.

Using an historiographical approach, the book draws upon texts from Greco-Roman antiquity, and sources from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries to show how the pax ideology has served as a justification for hegemonic foreign policy, and as an intellectual exercise in power projection. From Tacitus' condemnation of what he described as 'creating a wilderness and calling it peace', to debates about the establishment of a Pax Americana in post-Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the book shows not only how the governing elite in each of the three hegemonic orders prescribed to a loose interpretation of the pax ideology, but also how their internal disagreements and different conceptualisations of pax have affected the process of 'empire-building'.

This book will be of interest to students of international history, empire, and International Relations in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: 'Peace Through Victory' 1. The Peace That Defined Empire: The Language and Ideology of the Roman Pax 2. The Pax Romana: The Character of the Roman Hegemonic Peace Part 2: 'The Savage Wars of Peace' 3. A 'New Rome’: Analogies and Imperial Projections in Victorian and Edwardian Britain 4. The Conceptualisation of the Pax Britannica In the Victorian and Edwardian Eras 5. Imperium et Libertas: The Empire and the ‘Anglo-Saxon Peace’ 6. Empire and Hegemony: The Realities and Myths of the British Pax Part 3: 'The Peace of the Benign Imperium' 7. The Pax Americana Debate: The Liberal Peace and the ‘American Empire’ Conclusion: The Paradox of Hegemonic Peace. Bibliography

About the Author

Ali Parchami is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence and International Affairs, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He has a DPhil in History from Oxford University and was a lecturer in Politics at Exeter College, Oxford.

About the Series

War, History and Politics

This new series of books marks a new publishing initiative in military history and politics. Covering history over the last millennium, the series will publish cutting-edge scholarly works within the fields of military and political history. Here, military history is taken to include not only operational histories but also the wider social, cultural, economic and political contexts of conflict. Similarly, political history is seen as not only a matter of politicians, political parties and elections but also in terms of the wider resonances of political commitment, activity and thought. The geographical coverage of the series will be global and proposals on topics beyond Anglo-American history and politics will be encouraged.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Strategy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy