What We Are Reading Today: Outsourcing Empire

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Updated 05 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Outsourcing Empire

Authors: Andrew Phillips and J. C. Sharman 

From Spanish conquistadors to British colonialists, the prevailing story of European empire-building has focused on the rival ambitions of competing states. But as Outsourcing Empire shows, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, company-states— not sovereign states—drove European expansion, building the world’s first genuinely international system. 

Company-states were hybrid ventures: Pioneering multinational trading firms run for profit, with founding charters that granted them sovereign powers of war, peace, and rule. Those like the English and Dutch East India Companies carved out corporate empires in Asia, while other company-states pushed forward European expansion through North America, Africa, and the South Pacific. 

In this comparative exploration, Andrew Phillips and J. C. Sharman explain the rise and fall of company-states, why some succeeded while others failed, and their role as vanguards of capitalism and imperialism.

In dealing with alien civilizations to the East and West, Europeans relied primarily on company-states to mediate geographic and cultural distances in trade and diplomacy.

Emerging as improvised solutions to bridge the gap between European rulers’ expansive geopolitical ambitions and their scarce means, company-states succeeded best where they could balance the twin imperatives of power and profit. Yet as European states strengthened from the late eighteenth century onward, and a sense of separate public and private spheres grew, the company-states lost their usefulness and legitimacy.

Bringing a fresh understanding to the ways cross-cultural relations were handled across the oceans, Outsourcing Empire examines the significance of company-states as key progenitors of the globalized world.

 

 

J

 


Gigi Hadid denies claims she is ‘disguising’ baby bump

Updated 06 July 2020

Gigi Hadid denies claims she is ‘disguising’ baby bump

DUBAI: Gigi Hadid’s baby bump has been a hot topic on social media over the past few days. 

The part-Palestinian supermodel called out British Vogue for tweeting: “@GiGiHadid is yet to post a picture showing her baby bump, but her genius disguise gives an insight into her lockdown pregnancy.”

The publication was reporting on the catwalk star’s Instagram live video from June 24, in which she spoke with activist and chef Sophia Roe about racial discrimination, the Black Lives Matter movement and more.

One viewer commented on the video saying: “How do you not have a tummy? I’m four months into my pregnancy and my tummy is huge. You look great though!”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@sophia_roe

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

Hadid replied: “This angle and the really baggy jumpsuit make for an optical illusion. From the side it’s a different story! Wishing you the best!”

The 25-year-old mom-to-be replied to British Vogue’s tweet saying: “Disguise ....? I said in a baggy jumpsuit the front and side views are visually different stories — not that that was intentional or I was trying to hide anything. Will be proud and happy to share ‘insight’ when I feel like it, thanks.”

She followed up saying: “For now I am proudly experiencing and sharing this time with my family and loved ones.”

Hadid is expecting her first child with former One Direction star Zayn Malik. She announced her pregnancy in April. The couple are having a baby girl.