journal of world history, spring 1999 of the past? Is imperialism--treated, oddly enough, as "in some respects a more comprehensive concept" (p. 22)--also dead? Or is it that colonialism and imperialism (defined as assuming an international political system in which "colonies are not just ends in themselves, but also pawns in global power games" [p. 21]) have simply taken a new form, globalism? My own view tends to deny this last possibility. The West itself has changed from its earlier "modernization" stage, becoming multicultural and pluralistic, willingly or not. Racism may exist at home, but it plays a lesser role in the joint multinational ventures of globalization. A global elite has no sahibs. Although the West obviously still possesses a kind of dominant economic power and the culture that goes with it, and thus perhaps a form of colonialism, classic colonialism, let alone imperialism, is dead. In understanding today's globalization, we must recognize that, in fact, the death of colonialism is one of the preconditions for conceptualizing global history. (For some other preconditions, see my introduction to Conceptualizing Global History, edited by Bruce Mazlish and Ralph Buultjens [Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993].) Such thoughts, and similar ones, are
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
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