Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (Princeton University Press), authored by New York University historians Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, has been named winner of the World History Association’s Book Prize, 2011.
The prize, created in 1999, recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of world history. It will be presented in during the World History Association’s annual meeting in Beijing, China, to be held in July.
The work departs from conventional nation-centered perspectives and examines how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, Burbank and Cooper consider empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination, emphasizing how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations.
Burbank is a professor of history and Russian and Slavic studies at NYU. Her books include Intelligentsia and Revolution: Russian Views of Bolshevism, 1917-1922 (Oxford University Press, 1986) and Russian Peasants Go to Court: Legal Culture in the Countryside, 1905-1917 (Indiana University Press, 2004). Cooper is a professor of history at NYU. His books include Decolonization and African Society: The Labor Question in French and British Africa (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge History (University of California Press, 2005).