Organizing Empire

History R1B.003

Spring 2017
263 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuTh 8-9:30
Class Number: 
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
  • From the late nineteenth century, the study of public administration and organization has developed within the context of (and in the service of) the triumph of the nation-state, democracy, firms, and economic liberalization. This course explores an alternative connection: administration and empire. How did empires, unlike liberal democracies, develop bureaucracies and foster behavior that differed from our contemporary understanding of “public” administration or private organizations? How did these practices shape the development and decline of empire? How has the developing study of public administration shaped historians’ understandings of empire? Finally, as the relationship between bureaucracy, supranational entities, and the public faces reevaluation after Brexit’s rejection of the European Union, how can history inform alternative approaches to the current study of administration? Throughout the semester, we will trace the development of the study of administration and organization through its major theoretical texts while also reading parallel historical scholarship about empires – especially Spain, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States – as well as analyzing a selection of historical documents.

    Raphael Murillo is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Berkeley. His dissertation studies the development of inspections as a means of disciplining the state in the Spanish empire during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He previously earned his A.B. in history at Princeton University studying comparative modern imperialism and colonialism.