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Recently, a new kind of socio-politically motivated global search metaheuristic called imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA) was proposed. ICA is based on a form of imperialistic competition in which the populations are represented by countries divided among imperialists and colonies. In this paper, a modified ICA (MICA) approach based on concepts of attraction and repulsion between the colony and its imperialist is introduced during the search for better solutions. A brushless direct current wheel motor benchmark problem is used to investigate the performance of the classical ICA and the proposed MICA and results are shown to be competitive with those of other well-established optimization methods.