The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 formalised what has become known as the ‘Scramble for Africa’. European powers arbitrarily divided up Africa between themselves and started administrating their new colonies. Seventy years later they bequeathed to native Africans countries that looked remarkably different from how they looked in 1880.
Colonialism and development in Africa
Leander Heldring, James A Robinson, 10 January 2013
China’s soaring foreign trade: Made in Britain, c. 1840?
Wolfgang Keller, Ben Li, Carol H Shiue, 19 December 2010
Talk about market access restrictions. Until the year 1840, China’s international trade was limited to only a handful of local firms in a single port, Canton (Guangzhou). That did not sit well with Western countries who wanted to import more and more silk and porcelain from China in exchange for Western goods. Trade liberalisation came swiftly in the form of British gunboats.
The diplomacy of arms: Conflict as a negotiation instrument
Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 24 September 2010
Why do people fight? Why do countries, firms, unions, and individuals engage in costly confrontations? One line of argument states that humans enjoy fighting per se, because it is in a fundamental part of our violent and dark nature. A more appealing explanation is that people fight to get something out of it.
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