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In the periods, following the First and Second World Wars, colonial states across the British empire underwent waves of reforms that were geared toward improving human…
In the periods, following the First and Second World Wars, colonial states across the British empire underwent waves of reforms that were geared toward improving human well-being, from enhancing social conditions, such as health and education, to expanding opportunities for economic and political engagement. The literature on the colonial state typically traces these state-building efforts to the agency of European colonial officials. However, evidence from a historical analysis of Trinidad and Tobago reveals a different agent driving state reform: the colonized. A local labor movement during colonialism forced the colonial state to construct a number of state agencies to ameliorate the economic, political, and social conditions in the colony, thereby resulting in an increase in state capacity. This study, therefore, provides critical intervention into the colonial state literature by showing that the agency of the colonized, as opposed to just the colonizers, is key to state-building, and specifying the mechanisms by which the subaltern constrained colonial officials and forced them to enact policies that improved colonial state capacity.
The main theme of this special volume is the colonial state and its governmental practices. This chapter introduces and contextualizes the contributions by providing a…
The main theme of this special volume is the colonial state and its governmental practices. This chapter introduces and contextualizes the contributions by providing a brief induction to recent developments within the study of the colonial state. It then presents the contributions under three perspectives which represent separate yet interrelated themes relevant for the understanding of the colonial state: practices, violence, and agency. Hereby, we also accentuate the value of a non-state-centric approach to the analysis of the colonial state.
In recent decades, it has become clear that the major economic, political, and social problems in the world require contemporary development research to examine…
In recent decades, it has become clear that the major economic, political, and social problems in the world require contemporary development research to examine intersections of race and class in the global economy. Theorists in the Black Radical Tradition (BRT) were the first to develop and advance a powerful research agenda that integrated race–class analyses of capitalist development. However, over time, progressive waves of research streams in development studies have successively stripped these concepts from their analyses. Post-1950s, class analyses of development overlapped with some important features of the BRT, but removed race. Post-1990s, ethnicity-based analyses of development excised both race and class. In this chapter, I discuss what we learn about capitalist development using the integrated race–class analyses of the BRT, and how jettisoning these concepts weakens our understanding of the political economy of development. To remedy our current knowledge gaps, I call for applying insights of the BRT to our analyses of the development trajectories of nations.