Whether it is in the context of the conflicts in east Ukraine or in the Central African Republic (CAR), observers are quick to denounce imperialistic behaviors on both sides. For instance, European and US leaders accuse Russia of imperialism in Crimea and the eastern region of Ukrainian, where pro-Russian rebels are taking over buildings and other ares, while Russia says that Westerners forcing their views on the rest of the world is akin to cultural imperialism. In a similar fashion, a few African observers accuse France of imperialism for its military interventions in the conflicts in Mali and the CAR. Each superpower seems set on accusing one another of being imperialist, but what does that actually mean?
A survey of the concept
Nowadays, imperialism usually refers to cultural imperialism, when a country imposes an ideology or a way of life onto other countries. As such, the concept is a sensitive one and is not to be used lightly. On the Global Voices website, the word imperialism appeared 200 times between 2008 and 2014, and all continents have mentioned the subject at least once.
For Worldwide, Google Trends’ search statistics on imperialism, visit: When Is Imperialism Actually Imperialism? · Global Voices.