The Rise and Fall of Empires

  • April 05, 2005
  • Dr Douglas V Johnson II
  • Dr Douglas V Johnson II

On March 4-5, 2005, the Strategic Studies Institute and the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS), (Duke University, University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University) co-hosted a conference addressing the question of whether or not the United States has become an empire and, if so, what does that mean for U.S. national security policy? The path to the answer was to examine several other "empires’" rise, limiting factors, and declines. The audience, consisting principally of scholars from TISS, included students and one U.S. Air Force Fellow studying at the University of Chicago. The number in attendance varied from 25 to about 50. The conference examined dominant paradigms; addressed how empires begin; the limits to imperialism; the end of empire; and a reassessment of American Empire. The conference concluded with national security implications.