In Defence of Empires

6 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2004

See all articles by Deepak Lal

Deepak Lal

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; University College London


This article argues the case for empires. They provided global order in the nineteenth century. Their dissolution in the twentieth century resulted in global disorder. A blind spot in the classical liberal tradition was its assumption that international order would be a spontaneous by-product of limited government and unilateral free trade practised at home. This denial of power politics flowed into twentieth-century Wilsonianism. Now, there is no alternative to US imperial power to supply the global Pax. Whether the USA is willing to fulfil this role is open to question.

Suggested Citation

Lal, Deepak K., In Defence of Empires. Available at SSRN:

Deepak K. Lal (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States
310-825-4521 (Phone)
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University College London

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