The view from Copenhagen :Strategies of imperial control and the making of loyal middlemen in the Danish empire

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Adler-Nissen, Rebecca (2014)
  • Subject: /dk/atira/pure/core/keywords/FacultyOfSocialSciences | Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet | imperium | Danmark | Imperial Bureaucracy | Empire | Norway | imperial discourses | Imperialism | International Relations Theory | Imperial strategies | loyalty | middlemen

This article seeks to understand how Copenhagen functioned as the political core ofthe Danish empire from absolutism in 1660 to the loss of Norway in 1814, thereby contributingto the debate on how empires hang together. My focus is the imperial middlemenor intermediaries who became astonishingly loyal to the core. This loyalty wasensured not through circulation of officials across the different parts of the empire, butthrough asymmetrical contracting, various strategies of control, binding and pivotingof local elites. The professionalization of civil servants involved much continuity withthe old landowning and noble elite and ensured that corruption, deceit or local autonomymovements could be sanctioned quickly. There was nothing inevitable in the fallof the Danish empire and its transformation into a rump nation-state. Instead, imperialrule was a dominant imaginary within which almost all protest against absolutistpower took place right up until the Napoleonic wars.
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