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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2022

Dhammika Jayawardena

This paper aims to accomplish two purposes: firstly, it revisits the “positional identity” – the ambivalent-hybrid disposition – of human resource management (HRM) in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to accomplish two purposes: firstly, it revisits the “positional identity” – the ambivalent-hybrid disposition – of human resource management (HRM) in the (postcolonial) Global South. Secondly, it seeks to reframe the role of Southern agents of the epistemic community of HRM, particularly human resource (HR) managers, in managing people in the South.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes inspiration from the postcolonial theory of Homi Bhabha, his notions of hybridity, the Third Space and colonial positionality, to revisit the positional identity of HRM and to reframe the role of HR managers in the South.

Findings

In postcolonial Southern organisations, HR managers play a dual role – as “mimics” and “bastards” of Western discourses of HRM. The dual role tends to put the managers in Southern organisations in a “double–bind”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper helps in the understanding of the role of HRM as well as HR managers in Southern organisations regarding the (post-)colonial legacy of the South.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into the identity of HRM in the Global South beyond the dualistic understanding of HR practices, such as convergence–divergence and the mere form of crossvergence. It argues that hybridisation of HRM in Southern organisations takes place in the form of (post-)colonial hybridity.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 March 2015

Mounira M. Charrad and Daniel Jaster

The article shows that the concept of patrimonialism is useful for the analysis not only of nation-states, but also of local and imperial power structures. Highlighting…

Abstract

The article shows that the concept of patrimonialism is useful for the analysis not only of nation-states, but also of local and imperial power structures. Highlighting the limits of empires, we consider how local conditions shaped the strategies of colonial states in the process of empire building. We argue that the strength of local patrimonial networks before colonization, coupled with the sequencing of colonial conquests, either facilitated or hindered the French colonial and imperial project. Using a comparative-historical approach based on the analysis of two cases, Algeria and Tunisia, we find that the French colonial state employed markedly differing strategies of domination in each case. In Algeria, the French initially attempted and failed to destroy local patrimonial networks and the social practices associated with them through extensive military action. The failed attempt to destroy local practices resulted in over a century of resistance and bloodshed. When military rule became too costly, the French opted instead to rely on decentralized control that used the very structures they originally sought to eradicate. With constant reminders of the misguided colonial strategy in Algeria, the French used a different form of rule in Tunisia. They incorporated the existing Tunisian bureaucracy into their own political project, using it to limit the power of local patrimonial networks and transforming them instead through the development of capitalistic agriculture. The article illustrates the importance of paying close attention to local patrimonial networks in the analysis of colonial and imperial strategies.

Details

Patrimonial Capitalism and Empire
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-757-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Farley Grubb

The British North American colonies were the first western economies to rely on legislature-issued paper monies as an important internal media of exchange. This system…

Abstract

The British North American colonies were the first western economies to rely on legislature-issued paper monies as an important internal media of exchange. This system arose piecemeal. In the absence of banks and treasuries that exchanged paper monies at face value for specie monies on demand, colonial governments experimented with other ways to anchor their paper monies to real values in the economy. These mechanisms included tax-redemption, land-backed loans, sinking funds, interest-bearing notes, and legal tender laws. I assess and explain the structure and performance of these mechanisms. This was monetary experimentation on a grand scale.

Details

Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-276-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Søren Ivarsson and Søren Rud

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…

Abstract

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.

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Rethinking the Colonial State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-655-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2009

George Steinmetz

Anthropologists have long discussed the ways in which their discipline has been entangled, consciously and unconsciously, with the colonized populations they study. A…

Abstract

Anthropologists have long discussed the ways in which their discipline has been entangled, consciously and unconsciously, with the colonized populations they study. A foundational text in this regard was Michel Leiris' Phantom Africa (L'Afrique fantôme; Leiris, 1934), which described an African ethnographic expedition led by Marcel Griaule as a form of colonial plunder. Leiris criticized anthropologists' focus on the most isolated, rural, and traditional cultures, which could more easily be described as untouched by European influences, and he saw this as a way of disavowing the very existence of colonialism. In 1950, Leiris challenged Europeans' ability even to understand the colonized, writing that “ethnography is closely linked to the colonial fact, whether ethnographers like it or not. In general they work in the colonial or semi-colonial territories dependent on their country of origin, and even if they receive no direct support from the local representatives of their government, they are tolerated by them and more or less identified, by the people they study, as agents of the administration” (Leiris, 1950, p. 358). Similar ideas were discussed by French social scientists throughout the 1950s. Maxime Rodinson argued in the Année sociologique that “colonial conditions make even the most technically sophisticated sociological research singularly unsatisfying, from the standpoint of the desiderata of a scientific sociology” (Rodinson, 1955, p. 373). In a rejoinder to Leiris, Pierre Bourdieu acknowledged in Work and Workers in Algeria (Travail et travailleurs en Algérie) that “no behavior, attitude or ideology can be explained objectively without reference to the existential situation of the colonized as it is determined by the action of economic and social forces characteristic of the colonial system,” but he insisted that the “problems of science” needed to be separated from “the anxieties of conscience” (2003, pp. 13–14). Since Bourdieu had been involved in a study of an incredibly violent redistribution of Algerians by the French colonial army at the height of the anticolonial revolutionary war, he had good reason to be sensitive to Leiris' criticisms (Bourdieu & Sayad, 1964). Rodinson called Bourdieu's critique of Leiris' thesis “excellent’ (1965, p. 360), but Bourdieu later revised his views, noting that the works that had been available to him at the time of his research in Algeria tended “to justify the colonial order” (1990, p. 3). At the 1974 colloquium that gave rise to a book on the connections between anthropology and colonialism, Le mal de voir, Bourdieu called for an analysis of the relatively autonomous field of colonial science (1993a, p. 51). A parallel discussion took place in American anthropology somewhat later, during the 1960s. At the 1965 meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Marshall Sahlins criticized the “enlistment of scholars” in “cold war projects such as Camelot” as “servants of power in a gendarmerie relationship to the Third World.” This constituted a “sycophantic relation to the state unbefitting science or citizenship” (Sahlins, 1967, pp. 72, 76). Sahlins underscored the connections between “scientific functionalism and the natural interest of a leading world power in the status quo” and called attention to the language of contagion and disease in the documents of “Project Camelot,” adding that “waiting on call is the doctor, the US Army, fully prepared for its self-appointed ‘important mission in the positive and constructive aspects of nation-building’” a mission accompanied by “insurgency prophylaxis” (1967, pp. 77–78). At the end of the decade, Current Anthropology published a series of articles on anthropologists’ “social responsibilities,” and Human Organization published a symposium entitled “Decolonizing Applied Social Sciences.” British anthropologists followed suit, as evidenced by Talal Asad's 1973 collection Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter. During the 1980s, authors such as Gothsch (1983) began to address the question of German anthropology's involvement in colonialism. The most recent revival of this discussion was in response to the Pentagon's deployment of “embedded anthropologists” in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. The “Network of Concerned Anthropologists” in the AAA asked “researchers to sign an online pledge not to work with the military,” arguing that they “are not all necessarily opposed to other forms of anthropological consulting for the state, or for the military, especially when such cooperation contributes to generally accepted humanitarian objectives … However, work that is covert, work that breaches relations of openness and trust with studied populations, and work that enables the occupation of one country by another violates professional standards” (“Embedded Anthropologists” 2007).3 Other disciplines, notably geography, economics, area studies, and political science, have also started to examine the involvement of their fields with empire.4

Details

Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-667-0

Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Kristoffer Edelgaard Christensen

Against the grain of the paradigmatic postcolonial analytics of the colonial state, this chapter presents a non-dichotomous comparison of two regimes within the late 18th…

Abstract

Against the grain of the paradigmatic postcolonial analytics of the colonial state, this chapter presents a non-dichotomous comparison of two regimes within the late 18th century Danish empire, which are commonly presumed to be of essentially different kinds – namely the colonial state in Tranquebar in South East India and the metropolitan government of rural Danish society. By focusing, firstly, on practices of policing and, secondly, on the general technology of power that targeted these significantly different socio-political spheres, it is argued that these regimes were governing according to similar strategies: seeking, on one hand, to deploy societal mechanisms of self-regulation and, on the other, to provide a balance and order to the otherwise chaotic forces of the population. On the basis of a Foucauldian vocabulary of government, it is thereby argued that colonialism, at this time and place, had not yet clearly constituted itself as a particular form of rule.

Details

Rethinking the Colonial State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-655-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo

This chapter provides an assessment of how the late Portuguese colonial state (especially in Angola and Mozambique) responded to widespread conflict and anticolonial…

Abstract

This chapter provides an assessment of how the late Portuguese colonial state (especially in Angola and Mozambique) responded to widespread conflict and anticolonial pressures. Focusing on its structures, idioms, and strategies of social transformation and control-especially as they relate to the domains of development and security-my assessment of state response emphasizes the coming together of: coercive repertoires of rule; planned developmental strategies of political, economic and social change; and processes of engineering sociocultural difference. The late colonial state’s developmental and repressive facets are critically assessed through mobilizing theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis.

Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Marie Muschalek

This chapter puts practices of everyday violence at the center of its analysis of colonial order. It examines the micro-mechanisms and manifold forms of threatening and…

Abstract

This chapter puts practices of everyday violence at the center of its analysis of colonial order. It examines the micro-mechanisms and manifold forms of threatening and hurting people. While a quotidian part of colonial life, such practices – accepted and normal within the colonial moral economy – are not normally seen as state actions. However, they reveal the workings of a powerful state: one that was built in an improvised fashion by low-level state representatives.

Based on an analysis of everyday police work in German Southwest Africa, this chapter offers a theoretical reframing of the colonial state that aims to provincialize the modern European state. It shifts the perspective away from the legal and institutional aspirations and structures of the state, instead turning attention to less rationalized processes: the idiosyncratic, makeshift, affective procedures of low-ranking officials. On this plane, everyday violence played a key role in generating a new social order. Ultimately, it had constructive effects which were a fundamental and inherent part of the colonial state’s power.

Details

Rethinking the Colonial State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-655-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Holger Droessler

This chapter explores the making of the colonial state in Samoa in the 1890s. The Samoan case offers new insights into the workings of the colonial state precisely because…

Abstract

This chapter explores the making of the colonial state in Samoa in the 1890s. The Samoan case offers new insights into the workings of the colonial state precisely because nowhere else were Euro-American colonial projects as intertwined with and dependent on local support. In an unprecedented experiment in colonial rule, German, British, and American officials shared control over the Samoan islands from 1889 to 1899. This so-called tridominium, I argue, served as a colonial strategy of deferral for Euro-American officials anxious to diffuse escalating conflict over the distant islands. Contrary to plan, ongoing tensions among German, British, and American interests allowed Samoans to maintain considerable political and economic autonomy. The main reason for the ultimate failure of the tridominium for Euro-American policy-makers lay in the uneven and incomplete exercise of colonial power over Samoans. Limitations in geography, people, and finance made the tridominium a weak colonial state. In addition, the lack of resources the respective metropolitan governments devoted to the distant archipelago in the South Pacific increased the relative influence of Samoan leaders and of the growing number of Samoans who joined the administration. Samoa in the 1890s serves as an important reminder that colonial rule was rarely clear-cut and never complete.

Details

Rethinking the Colonial State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-655-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2021

Heidi Nicholls

This chapter analyzes the semiotic construction of US claims to sovereignty in Hawai‘i. Building on semiotic theories in sociology and theories within critical Indigenous…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the semiotic construction of US claims to sovereignty in Hawai‘i. Building on semiotic theories in sociology and theories within critical Indigenous and settler colonial studies, it presents an interpretive analysis of state, military, and academic discursive strategies. The US empire-state attempts to construct colonial narratives of race and sovereignty that rehistoricize the history of Hawaiians and other Indigenous peoples. In order to make claims to sovereignty, settler-colonists construct narratives that build upon false claims to superiority, advancement, and discovery. Colonial resignification is a process by which signs and symbols of Indigenous communities are conscripted into the myths of empire that maintain such sovereign claims. Yet, for this reason, colonial resignification can be undone through reclaiming such signs and symbols from their use within colonial metanarratives. In this case, efforts toward decolonial resignification enacted alternative metanarratives of peoples' relationships to place. This “flip side” of the synecdoche is a process that unravels the ties that bind layered myths by providing new answers to questions that underpin settler colonial sovereignty.

Details

Global Historical Sociology of Race and Racism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-219-6

Keywords

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