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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 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.
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…
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.
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.
This study aims to explore the role of the Indian merchant class in 19th-century colonial India in addressing the social concerns of disability. Specifically, it addresses…
This study aims to explore the role of the Indian merchant class in 19th-century colonial India in addressing the social concerns of disability. Specifically, it addresses why and how business engaged with disability in colonial India.
This study’s methodology entailed historiographical approach and archival investigation of official correspondence and letters of business people in 19th-century colonial India.
Using institutional theory, the study’s findings indicate that guided by philanthropic and ethical motives, Indian businesses, while recognizing the normative and cognitive challenges, accepted the regulative institutional pressures of colonial India and adopted an involved and humane approach. This manifested in the construction of asylums and the setting up of bequeaths and charitable funds for people with disability (PwD). The principal institutional drivers in making of the asylums and the creation of benevolent charities were religion, social practices, caste-based expectations, exposure to Western education and Victorian and Protestantism ideologies, the emergence of colonial notions of health, hygiene and medicine, carefully crafted socio-political and economic policies of the British Raj and the social aspirations of the native merchant class.
In contrast to the 20th-century rights-based movement of the West, which gave birth to the global term of “disability,” a collective representation of different types of disabilities, this paper locates that cloaked in individual forms of sickness, the identity of PwD in 19th-century colonial India appeared under varied fragmented labels such as those of leper, lunatic, blind and infirm. This paper broadens the understanding of how philanthropic business response to disability provided social acceptability and credibility to business people as benevolent members of society. While parallelly, for PwD, it reinforced social marginalization and the need for institutionalization, propagating perceptions of unfortunate and helpless members of society.
Anthropologists have long discussed the ways in which their discipline has been entangled, consciously and unconsciously, with the colonized populations they study. A…
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
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…
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.
Despite the importance of the first Chinese language movement in the early 1970s that elevated the status of Chinese as an official language in British Hong Kong, the…
Despite the importance of the first Chinese language movement in the early 1970s that elevated the status of Chinese as an official language in British Hong Kong, the movement and the colonial state’s response remained under-explored. Drawing insights primarily from Bourdieu and Phillipson, this study aims to revisit the rationale and process of the colonial state’s incorporation of the Chinese language amid the 1970s.
This is a historical case study based on published news and declassified governmental documents.
The central tenet is that the colonial state’s cultural incorporation was the tactics that aimed to undermine the nationalistic appeal in Hong Kong society meanwhile contain the Chinese language movement from turning into political unrest. Incorporating the Chinese language into the official language regime, however, did not alter the pro-English linguistic hierarchy. Symbolic domination still prevailed as English was still considered as the more economically rewarding language comparing with Chinese, yet official recognition of Chinese language created a common linguistic ground amongst the Hong Kong Chinese and fostered a sense of local identity that based upon the use of the mother tongue, Cantonese. From the case of Hong Kong, it suggests that Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of state formation paid insufficient attention to the international context and the non-symbolic process of state-making itself could also shape the degree of the state’s symbolic power.
Extant studies on the Chinese language movement are overwhelmingly movement centred, this paper instead brings the colonial state back in so to re-examine the role of the state in the incorporative process of the Chinese language in Hong Kong.
This chapter provides an assessment of how the late Portuguese colonial state (especially in Angola and Mozambique) responded to widespread conflict and anticolonial…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.