The concepts of economic backwardness, Asiatic despotism and orientalism have strongly influenced perceptions of modernization, democracy and economic growth over the last three centuries. This book provides an original view of Russian and Asian history that views both in a global perspective. Via this analysis, Alessandro Stanziani opens new dimensions in the study of state formation, the global slave trade, warfare and European and Asian growth. After Oriental Despotism questions conventional oppositions between Europe and Asia. By revisiting the history of Eurasia in this context, the book offers a serious challenge to existing ideas about the aims and goals of economic growth.