University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Top historian in Copenhagen

Author of multiple books on empires and imperialism, John Darwin, to give lecture on Wednesday. Decolonization has had its limits, he says to the University Post

John Darwin, one of the world’s leading experts on the history of empires and decolonization, will kick off a World History Workshop series of lectures this Wednesday, February 27.

»Decolonization is what created some 200 sovereign states,« he says to the University Post.

»This replaced the global order of empires and enshrined the idea of the self-determination of peoples as a fundamental global norm.«

New states were not nation-states

In this way, empires dissolved into states, and these states were to be the foundation of the vast amount of countries we know today.

However, not all of the former empires were to become states all at once. China and Russia are still counted as modern-day empires.

»Decolonization had its limits”, John Darwin explains. “Many ‘new’ states fall short of the nation-state ideal.«

Decolonization settlement

So to give a more realistic view of our world today, we would have to acknowledge that decolonization is still a ‘work in progress’.

Decolonization also had a considerable effect on modern day phenomena such as racism.

»What we might call the ‘decolonization settlement’«, John Darwin »acknowledged the rights of some ethnic groups but ignored those of others.«

Therefore, the repudiation of racism can be seen as part cause, and part effect, of the decolonizing process.

Send us your pictures and reports! You are welcome to send us ideas for stories, pictures and reports from events and news that has taken place on campus to