Global Networks and American Empire (951V1B)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

The global reach and influence of the United States are often invisible to its own citizens who regard their country as a nation state rather than an empire. Yet, without an understanding of empire it is impossible to analyse the global distribution of power and violence that American actions around the world produce. This interdisciplinary module visualises and maps the hidden infrastructures and technologies of American empire.

We will explore the social and political realities of US imperial formations (colonialism, military assets and interventions) from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century as well as more ephemeral forms of US influence in the form of culture, technological innovation and the networked power of economic hegemony. Drawing on history, theory, political analysis and narrative forms, this module responds to the challenges involved in understanding the nature of American power and a globally situated US in the twenty-first century.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: