About the Centre

Globalisation is one of the buzzwords of our age. It captures a sense of living in an age of transformation, where little can be taken for granted and no-one quite knows what the future might bring. Academics, politicians, the media and a wider public have all attempted to describe its current character and predict its future course. It tends to be assumed that globalisation is a product of our most recent and rapid advanced in communications. But globalisation has a rich past, too – of trans-border flows of people, goods, capital and information, of regional arenas and global ideologies.

This past in entwined with the history of the rise and fall of empires. From the ancient world until recent times, most people have lived under forms of imperial rule, and the flows of imperial conquest, migration, connection and exchange have been foundational in making the modern world. Globalisation's roots extend back in time, and historians have much to contribute to today's debates, ensuring that issues of accelerating interconnectedness and interdependence and their consequences are discussed with chronological as well as geographic breadth.

In recent years, historians have begun to find their voice, tracing the connections formed by peoples, practices, commodities and ideas in motion, and undertaking global comparisons of the world's polities, cultures and regions. In Britain, there is a palpable wider public interest in the country's imperial past and its current place in the world. Understanding how the world came to be connected – and the challenges as well as opportunities that this has posed – sparks the curiosity of researchers and the public alike.

Research themes

At Exeter, we are studying the histories of imperialism and globalism in relation to one another. Our Centre for Imperial and Global History exists to showcase the quality of our research in this field, to increase our research income, to build collaborative links with colleagues and other institutions, to attract high quality postgraduate students to supervise new doctoral research. We continue to build on our strengths in comparing empires and the experiences of empire, by addressing a number of leading research themes: