Moral Imperialism

Brett Bowden

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The term imperialism has been coupled to or prefixed by a wide range of labels and descriptors, many of them controversial or contested. Examples that readily come to mind include neo-imperialism, economic imperialism, cultural imperialism, liberal imperialism, humanitarian imperialism, democratic imperialism, Western imperialism, American imperialism, and the subject of this essay, moral imperialism. The level of controversy and contestation tends to depend on factors such as one's social, political, economic or cultural perspective. For many, to be accused of being an imperialist is a pejorative term, but over the years it has been regarded by some as a badge of honor and a measure of national esteem. Some flatly reject any form of imperialism in the belief that imperialism by its very nature assigns different moral worth to different peoples. In addition to exploring the nature of moral imperialism and its contested meanings and merits, the key point that I want to make in this essay is that all forms of imperialism have a moral dimension. Before I get to that topic, however, first it is helpful to discuss the nature and meaning of imperialism more generally.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntercultural Discourse - Key and Contested Concepts
    Editors Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Minou Friele
    Place of PublicationFreiburg/Munchen
    PublisherVerlag Karl Alber
    Pages213 - 220
    ISBN (Print)9783495485415
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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