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POLI 227 Clapham - The Colonial State and its Demise.docx

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

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POLI 227
January 24, 2013
Clapham, “The Colonial State and its Demise”
Importance of Euro colonialism: means by which global poli and econ order were
created West emerged dominant
The structure and timeline of colonial efforts are greatly varied
Ultimate basis of colonialism was technological (ocean-going ship)
Ultimate goal of colonialism was econ
3 main forms of colonialism:
1. Americas rich and easy to control
Thoroughness + brutality of colonization = destruction of indigenous
societies… those who survived remain subordinate to this day
Most intense imposition of Euro-style econ facilitated this destruction
Independence = transfer of pwr from indigenous ppl to white settlers
More temperate zones were originally slower to dvlp b/c primarily
settler colonies and less wealthy, though they are now much more
dvlped than tropical zones
Effects of colonialism in transporting disparate groups of ppl to
distant parts of the world (mostly slavery) and poli consequences of
this most evident in West Indies
Principal diff: much earlier achievement of nat’l independence
Virtual absence of any ‘traditional’ or indigenous society today –
poli consequences, esp high level of military intervention
Elite almost entirely of Euro origin (‘class politics’ due to elites’
control of land and state)
2. Asia rich but difficult to control
Strong indigenous societies
Much later colonial efforts (interior: 19th century)
Colonization involved taking over entire poli entities and preserving
them, to some degree (preservation of poli ID)
A number of states, while under heavy Euro influence, remained
MIDDLE EAST: effects of colonial rule mitigated by a great degree of internal
self-gov’t and by a strong sense of regional ID (Pan-Arabism and Islam)
Arab nat’lism cuts across Euro boundaries and con’ts challenging the
post-colonial state as a framework for poli activity
3. Africa poor and so scarcely worth controlling
Little evident wealth, very difficult to penetrate
Colonial efforts very late (late 19th century ‘new imperialism’,
‘Scramble for Africa’)
Hardly any permanent Euro occupation (except South Africa)
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