Jeremy C.A. Smith
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Inter- civilisational engagement
Imaginaries, power, connected worlds
in Debating civilisations

This chapter outlines the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement. It presents four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement: migration, deep engagement in economic relations, cultural exchange and creation, and political reconstruction of civilisational models. Labour migration included slaves forced into the flow of emigrants departing Africa, Europe and India. Like migration, economic relations are about movement. Inter-civilisational engagement constitutes economies as relational in the uneven and unequal spread of trade and money, and in commercial networks based on the practices of trust-building. The chapter argues that the transformation of patterns of long-distance trade, the growth of money, the codification of trust and the expansion of imagined connections provided complex and early spurs to the imaginary institution of capitalism. In the epoch of modern colonialism, fourth dimension of engagement almost invariably involves imperial hierarchies of relations between states and broad-ranging constructions of power.

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Debating civilisations

Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age


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