Company States and International Relations Theory (2017–2019)
This project investigates chartered companies¿ decisive role in spearheading the West¿s rise to world domination. Profit-driven forerunners to today¿s multinational corporations, chartered companies wielded extensive sovereign powers (e.g. rights to wage war, conduct diplomacy, and raise taxes) normally reserved for governments. This project will establish the importance of chartered companies ¿ not sovereign states ¿ as Europe¿s pre-eminent agents of colonial expansion before c1800, and uncover how their rise and fall fundamentally shaped modern understandings of the distinction between public and private authority.