East, West, Rome’s best? The imperial turn
ByAdrian Campbell
Pages 14

The emergence of China and other 'rising powers' has effectively ended the period of unipolarity that followed the end of the Cold War. Comparative research into the Roman and Chinese empires has enjoyed a higher profile in recent years, notably through the Stanford research and the work of Mutschler and Mittag, the latter stating openly that there are possible analogies with contemporary China and America. The symbolism of the 'Eagle and Dragon' posters hints at a second ambiguity, that of the relationship of the West with its Roman precursor. That the imperial motif of the 'dragon' may be used to refer to the same geopolitical entity over thousands of years may not elicit surprise, given the perceived continuity of the Chinese history. The notion of an opposition between Imperialism and Federalism lies at the centre of Kropotkin's critique of the State.