Description de l'atelier / Panel description
Pratyay Nath  1@  , Peter Lorge, Rudi Matthee, Michael Charney, Kahraman Sakul@
1 : Ashoka University, Sonipat, India  -  Website

Panel presentation:

The early modern world was marked by spectacular imperial enterprises. At least six big empires – those of the Ming, Manchus, Mughals, Safavids, Ottomans, and Muscovites – dominated vast swathes of the Asiatic landmass. Several smaller states, including those of Arakan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as those of the Uzbegs and the Marathas – held sway over other parts. As empires rose, they scrambled for more and more power and territory. Alongside aggressive diplomacy, this inevitably led to frequent and violent wars. Empires busied themselves in increasing their army sizes; in developing, acquiring, and adopting new military technologies; in maintaining elaborate logistical infrastructure to support military campaigns; in gathering funds to sponsor their military endeavours; and in deploying sophisticated and multi-layered propaganda to legitimise their wars.

Taking the entire continent of Asia as its unit of analysis, the present panel looks at this complex history of war-making and empire-building over the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. It brings together five historians working on five different regions – Southeast Asia, China, Iran, South Asia, and West Asia. The papers look at diverse facets of these historical processes, including the relationship between state-formation and military organisation; the evolution of gunpowder technology vis-à- vis the imperatives of imperial finance; the interaction between military strategy and geopolitics; the influence of environment on the conduct of warfare; and the role of fortress warfare in the making of imperial frontiers. By assembling historians with diverse linguistic and methodological expertise from four different countries and three different continents, this panel holds out the promise of breaking new ground in macroscopic and comparative analyses of military and imperial processes. We hope to gather all the essays together afterwards and publish them in the form of an edited volume.

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