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Exporting empireAfrica, colonial officials and the construction of the British imperial state, c.1900−39$
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Christopher Prior

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083686

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083686.001.0001

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Implementing colonial change: economics, infrastructure and education

Implementing colonial change: economics, infrastructure and education

(p.123) Chapter Five Implementing colonial change: economics, infrastructure and education
Exporting empire

Christopher Prior

Manchester University Press

This chapter argues that, contrary to which some historians have argued, opposition to change was not an inherent feature of the colonial state. Indeed, officials wanted to alter a good deal about Africa. Officials' attitudes to change were governed by a number of factors in addition to a simple analysis as to what they felt would be of benefit to Africans. In their endorsement or rejection of certain ideas and policies, officials were influenced by calculations as to the likely impact of these ideas and policies on their ability to improve their own lot. Furthermore, responses to change were also a contingent outcome of certain struggles for power and autonomy within the ranks. Officials' faith in their own capacity for supervising and managing their localities meant they felt that if they were able to prevent the incursions of others into their district, they could work as the arbiters of stable development. Consequently, officials were not haunted by an inherent sense of conflict between stasis and change.

Keywords:   Postcolonialism, Infrastructural development, Education, Autonomy

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