The children of the converts enrolled at an elementary schools established by the missionaries. By the end of the colonial period, pastoral societies did not experience meaningful socio-economic changes unlike the rest of the colony concentrating most services only in the regions occupied by white settlers. Footnote 59 The policies of marginalization continued in the post-colonial Kenya government as will be examined in the section under post-colonial development.
However, it is significant to note that the post-colonial government, like its predecessor, adopted policies intended to change their way of life as they continued to adjust to changes in population increase, loss of pastureland, and even civil wars. The northern regions were barely studied during the colonial period apart from popular visits by big game hunters and adventurers and explorers Stroomer Footnote 61 A systematic study of the arid regions began only in the s.
Footnote 62 Although sparsely populated, the region's ethnic composition is diverse. Apart from the Boranas there are also Somali, and Turkana who mainly reside in the town of Isiolo. People of Indian and Arab ancestry who are involved in trading activities also reside in Marsabit. Map of Kenya showing study districts: Marsabit, Moyale and Isiolo. The research is based on analysis and synthesis of diverse sources. Primary sources consisted of the Kenya National Archives KNA materials collected through two separate periods in and The study relied on using traditional sources such as colonial archival, previously unexplored travel memoirs, in an attempt at teasing out ideas that speak to gender roles and relations in Borana society within the broader socio-economic and political forces of the past century.
Secondary literatures consulted are books and articles in journals together with other published sources that address various aspects of the Borana society. These sources are germane to gaining an understanding of broader issues pertaining to discourse of socio-economic and political marginalization in post-colonial era. Exploration of colonial impact on pastoral gender organization in northern Kenya provides an interesting look at how gender and colonial ideologies were constructed.
As mentioned before, with the exception of a few studies, pastoral societies have been overlooked in the studies on gender relations, reflecting the importance of analysing how gender and colonial ideologies were recreated and reinforced in areas considered marginal to the colonial enterprise such as northern Kenya.
Detailing this process, this study traces changes in Borana gender ideology in the broader socio-economic and political changes wrought by colonization. The British colonies adopted the principles of indirect rule introduced officially in Indirect rule was a system in which the British ruled their colonies in Africa as elsewhere through the pre-existing local governance system. Although there was no full-scale application of the system, in the case of Africa, the policy was guided by the postulation that African and European cultures varied greatly and communities that had developed institutions were best ruled indirectly.
In Kenya, the history and process of British colonial consolidation and rule has been discussed in detail by Ogot and Ochieng ; Lonsdale and Berman ; Mungeam Footnote 65 However, it is important to note that British administration was based on the general British principals, where the colony was divided into provinces led by the provincial commissioner helped by the district commissioners.
The district commissioners were aided by district officers and assistant district officers. Under the district officers were local administrators, composed of village headmen and the post of chiefs, the lowest hierarchies in the colonial administration. Many reasons abound in the literature for the establishment of indirect rule including saving the colony the costs of hiring British administrators.
Indirect rule was also said to help preserve cultural practices with minimal interference Vail and White Footnote 66 This is significant to my analysis. First, gender-related issues were part and parcel of these cultural practices. Going by this, the colonial administration system would have retained women in some of their pre-existing positions of power.
Archival sources are explicit about the association of men with colonial titles of village elders, chiefs and headmen. For example, the Moyale District Annual Report of to provides a favourable description of a Borana headman named Yatanni Kune. This observation is supported, for example, by Dorothy Hodgson in her study on the Maasai of Tanzania. Central to this were ethos of militarism, masculinity and manhood. Footnote 70 Colonizers reinforced these ideas in their recruitment of natives into the British forces based on gender and even cultural backgrounds.
In this context, men from pastoral cultural background were thought to possess military skills, which made them desirable for recruitment into the colonial troops. Footnote 71 The evidence from a colonial report indicates that six Borana men were trained as members of the tribal forces, commonly known as dubas , and were eventually employed as prison wardens.
Footnote 72 The absence of Borana women from such accounts speaks loudly to the fact that colonial labour forces favoured males reinforcing the invisibility of Borana women and their lack of participation in military roles as espoused under the Gada system. However, with the replacement of collective ownership of lands with private property rights, pastoral women in general lost their access to natural resources, which by extension included lands allocated to ranching in which male members had privileged land access leaving out the females.
While this process was not even for all pastoralist societies, it affected the Borana women as it happened with the Maasai and Samburu women. Research on policies enforcing land privatization has been shown to have negative effects on the social well-being of women. Although this has been the case in most countries with large pastoral populations, like Ethiopia, women have limited ability to access and own land, which is a form of economic access to key markets as well as a form of social access to non-market institutions, such as household- and community-level governance systems Flintan Colonial policy of monetization and commoditization of a generally pastoralist economy has been shown to have an impact on gender relations.
In the early years of British administration in the Northern Frontier District, the British established colonial posts along the trade routes used by pastoralists to impose taxes and control trading activities Samatar Footnote 76 Although slow in developing, colonial revenues were derived from commodities - tea, sugar and tobacco - sold to pastoralists. Trade licences provided to retail shop operators both by local residents and Indian and Arab immigrants in northern Kenya were another source of revenue accrued by the government Marsabit District Annual Report The introduction of taxes gave greater impetus to the integration of pastoralists and the Borana into the colonial economy.
In colonial Kenya, direct taxation of Africans began in Pastoral societies paid taxes in kind Tignor Footnote 78 The Northern Frontier District Annual report of indicates that pastoralists, including the Borana, paid 30 head of cattle and 50 sheep annually. This system was, however, replaced in by a hut and poll tax in which each man aged 16 and over was required to pay a prescribed tax in cash annually.
To meet this requirement, Borana had begun to trade livestock between the north and central Kenya by the s Colonial Report Footnote 79 However, the codification of males aged 16 and over is telling of the gender designation of men as heads of households who had ability to pay taxes and not women. It has often been argued that in the case of northern Kenya and pastoralists, the tax policies encouraged trade in livestock, introducing the cash economy in the north.
The outbreak of the Italo-Abyssinian war of increased the supply for livestock from northern Kenya to feed the large troops stationed in NFD and Marsabit in particular. By , , sheep and goats were sold and 20, heads of cattle were disposed in the NFD. Although short-lived, the demand particularly brought the Borana under presure to supply the meat needed by the soldiers Marsabit District Annual Report and Footnote 81 However, the demand sparked by the short-lived war period and the need for cash to purchase commodities were not the only factors in explaining colonial policies that encouraged pastoralists to sell their livestock.
Other concerns emerged, for example overstocking issues. The overstocking thesis was premised on the view that pastoralists including the Borana kept more livestock than their available grazing land leading to overgrazing and land degradation Mackenzie Footnote 83 Failure to stay within a designated grazing area was considered trespassing, warranting not only a court order but also seizure of livestock and a monetary fine.
First and foremost, the colonial government perceived pastoralism as seasonal and traditional land tenure and practices associated with pastoralism were viewed as a barrier to commercialization of land. In essence, by , demonstration plots were developed on the slopes of Mount Marsabit to plant maize. The local communities including the Borana were allocated farming plots but with various conditions including signing a legal contract with the District Commissioner, maintaining presences on the land.
They could not transfer land, sell their agricultural products or erect any building without the written permission by the District Commissioner. Furthermore, the plots were considered Crown Land and not inheritable. This condition was particularly a blow for widows, including from the Borana community, who were vulnerable to eviction upon the death of their husbands Marsabit District Annual Report In the period during and after the Second World War, gender inequality was further reinforced as the Borana were brought more into contact with the colonial economy.
Broadly speaking, in response to increased pressures in the aftermath of the Great Depression, among the Borana, like other pastoral communities, the colonial government intensified earlier efforts to promote monetization and commoditization of their livestock and opportunities for retail trading for the Borana elite Dahl Dahl writes:. The period during and after World War II, with its high demand for cattle, contributed much to giving Borana society an altered profile. Deliberate new attempts were made to back up the power of chiefs and headmen and fresh fields of activity also opened up, which made it possible for a stratum of Borana leaders to differentiate themselves more distinctly from the common herd owner.
Again this shows that the colonial economy did not create a niche for the Borana women but increased the powers of male figures over the women in the community. It is also interesting to note that apart from creating gender inequality, the colonial economy increased differentiation among the Borana communities where class became a basis for social inequality, impacting non-elite male members of the Borana society and, of course, placing women, who were perceived as stockless, at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Footnote 87 One of the major areas that post-World War II social reforms sought to address in the last decade of colonial rule was participation of African women in formal education. That said, during the late colonial period in Kenya, as was true with the rest of the British colonies in Africa, education was a crucial stepping stone to all other types of socio-economic and political mobility. For example, among pastoral societies of northern Kenya, it was only men who had an opportunity for basic education and even read the popular newspaper of the time, Habari.
The colonial labour force was made open to men trainees who were recruited into native colonial military forces. The deprived nature of the educational system among pastoral societies makes it difficult to gather total school enrolment and attendance figures in northern Kenya. Nevertheless, in , the first intermediate government school was built in Wajir. Footnote 91 Only a few children got access to a modern education, for example those whose parents were shop owners, natives working for the colonial government, administrators, members of the local police dubas or ex-soldiers.
Even when, in , the colonial government with the help of missionaries established self-help groups for African women, later named Maendelo ya Wanawake organization, MYWO development for women in , pastoral women were generally excluded simply by default with most of the groups being established in the regions settled by sedentary communities and in urban areas. Footnote 93 Even so, the implementation process in Marsabit was largely left to the discretion of the colonial District Commissioners.
Often, these played out in actions that fed the marginalization, especially that of the rural pastoralist women. However, pastoral women in general have not been just helpless victims to changes around them, but active agents.
This is illustrated in a memoir by Daniel G. Offering a vital account of the interaction between the NFD pastoralists and the colonial administrators, the autobiography provides glimpses into the roles that pastoralist women played in colonial Kenya in defending their rights. The women participated in actions affecting public policy. Van Wyk describes in detail a demonstration by pastoralist women against the imposition of dress codes by the colonial administration. They accused the indigenous women of wearing scant dressing styles intentionally to provoke attention in the township.
A Quick Reminder of Why Colonialism Was Bad | Current Affairs
Footnote 98 Enraged by the law, the women took to the street to demonstrate, demanding apologies and respect from the colonial authority. Van Wyk writes,. Scores of demonstrators came into view …They were all women; there were not a single male amongst them. They had defied the dressing regulations and came … bare breasted, bare footed, and with only a string of beads and a piece of cloth tied around the waist.
As time went by I pieced together their shouted grievances and demands. While the author does not clearly say the ethnicities of women, he does mention the Borana, Somali, Samburu, and Turkana pastoralists of northern Kenya. They also wanted the colonial administration to ban the stimulant plant, khaat, noted in the quote above. At the same time, they paid taxes levied by the colonial government on the khaat trade. The women felt those resources would have been better used for their needs and that of their households and communities.
In response, the women organized themselves to protest these injustices. They lobbied themselves by taking to the street and forging demonstration strategies. Their activist actions included songs and rude gestures such as putting their hands high on their heads and shouting. In the literature on African studies and women in general, such information is often glossed over - or, in the case of pastoralist women, even totally ignored. Scholars have failed to appreciate the insights that this travel memoir provides about a group whose voices have been marginalized in historical literature.
However, written from a white male perspective of the time, the work is not without biases. However, at the national level, the newly independent Kenya government, with assistance of western countries, enacted 5- and year development plans within which the government delineated the roles urban and rural populations would play. While development plans in the s focused on large infrastructural development, the s projects were small and focused on agricultural and health-related issues targeted at rural populations. These projects were carried out with the help of private and voluntary international and domestic non-governmental organizations NGOs.
In , the Kenya Education Commission ordered a study on educational needs of the country under the chairmanship of Simeon Ominde. The Ominde report laid the foundation for post-colonial educational policy by stressing the practical goals of education. Footnote The report recommended greater social inclusion, including decreasing the gender disparity. Footnote While the Harambee spirit was used as a national strategy for mobilizing self-help development projects, communities placed greater emphasis on creating educational opportunities for children.
The total enrolment was estimated at Isiolo District Annual Report Footnote It is not clear how many of these students were female. In the earlier years following independence, there had been an expansion of and increased enrolment in primary and secondary schools, but a major gender gap existed in pastoralist areas. The rate of completion was generally low for both pastoralist girls and boys relative to other Kenyan communities, and it was worse for pastoral girls, for example, in , only 1, girls completed grade 8 in the whole of northern Kenya compared to 3, boys Kenya Ministry of Education Annual Report Although data on the number of students from pastoral backgrounds is not available, the table provides the number of secondary schools in the Marsabit District; the last four secondary schools are examples of Harambee schools.
The local communities in the district shared the cost of school construction and maintenance by selling their cattle to make financial contributions. Footnote While the rise in cost of education, among other socio-cultural factors, can explain the educational gender gap for pastoral females, the government did not, however, make efforts to encourage education of pastoralists in general and pastoral females in particular, compared to the rest of the Kenyan colony. There were also policies that generally considered integration of pastoralists into the general post-colonial national economy.
Famine relief programmes and irrigation schemes were introduced to present agriculture as an alternative way of making a living. These irrigation schemes became sources of employment and investment for rich Borana who employed other pastoralists. Footnote Subsequent schemes began in , and Hogg However, the importance of mainstreaming gender in the development issues did not surface until the s structural adjustment polices SAPs and the economic crisis in developing countries in general.
To remedy these problems, the World Bank and International Monetary Funds established a bottom-up strategy in developing countries, stressing the importance of mainstreaming gender issues in development plans. The goal of the programme was to bring development agendas to the local level in order to empower women as well as to help community organizations access resources and participate in local decisions and processes relevant to them. According to the United Nations, these two aspects help empower women and contribute to economic growth and development United Nations Until recently, the impact of these adjustment programmes on pastoral women has been neglected.
While sedentary agricultural communities in Kenya suffered a slump in prices for their produce, as in other developing countries, practices for pastoralists exhibited both advantages and disadvantages Monte and Katebalirwe Footnote On the one hand, the structural adjustment polices SAPs created competition for land. Based on the underlying notion that pastoralism was not an efficient use of land, the post-colonial government adopted policies that emphasized privatization and commercialization.
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These new laws caused pastoralists to be evicted from their own lands as was the case with the Maasai communities in Kenya. Footnote On a positive note, the commercialization of livestock resulted in better market prices. This allowed pastoral women from wealthy households to increasingly diversify their economic activities. The Orma pastoral women provide an apt example of this latter dynamic Einsminger Footnote The Kenya National Development Plan of to envisaged long-term goal policy plans that stressed improvements in standard of living of people in Arid and Semi-arid Lands ASALs by integrating them into the wider Kenya economy.
This generated a feeling that pastoralists were an uncontrollable, anti-development group, a perception that informed government policies and had implications for the nature of development interventions adopted by the government Whittacker The development policies initiated by the Kenyan government and international community envisioned women as agents of social change and invited them to assist in the implementation of development plans in the nation and in their societies Edwards et al.
Footnote These changes sped up in the s with the emergence of democratic movements. Footnote The rights of minority communities, such as pastoralists, who had suffered historical marginalization, began to gain recognition in Kenyan politics in part because of international advocacy, which created an awareness of the issues facing pastoral communities. These organizations advocated for constitutional changes, meaningful policies and the inclusion of minority ethnic groups and women in Kenyan politics.
For example, Action Aid, one of the well-known NGOs working among pastoralists in northern Kenya, has promoted income-generating activities for Waso Borana women Walsh The author has outlined the history of these pastoral women groups starting in As the first organization, the numbers started out small: a membership of 24 women. The groups had 30 and 40 members, respectively. By , 11 other groups had emerged. This speaks of the agency of Borana women in post-colonial era.
This study explores the role of pre-capitalist Borana women and how these roles changed with colonization, among other factors.
Colonial Effects: The Making Of National Identity In Jordan by Joseph Massad
The ideology of Gada , based on gender and age, regulated powers and relationships between men and women. It demonstrates that while the status of Borana women was not completely equal to that of men, the incorporation of the Borana into the colonial state bolstered the elements of pre-existing inequality.
Specifically, creation of male native authority, commercialization and commodification of livestock, and the implementation of post-World War II social reforms blurs the social status women enjoyed before while enhancing male economic and political authority relative to that of women. Together, these processes shifted the female domestic and male public spheres as previously understood.
Antecedents of European expansion
This contributed to marginalization of Borana women because of their social position as pastoralists, colonized subjects, and females as was the case with other pastoral women. In the post-colonial era, pastoral societies have undergone further changes due to urbanization, an increase in population and the state-imposed policy of sedentarization that is attempting to integrate the pastoral economies into national and international markets. As indicated before, recent research among the Borana and pastoral women of northern Kenya done by the likes of Khalif, Coppock and others looked at women in the context of development policies, democratic movements, activities of non-governmental organizations and civil societies.
While the extent to which these movements have liberated women from oppressive structures is debatable, what is clear is that women in developing countries in general have been further brought under the forces of globalization and yet their struggles remain isolated and localized. Footnote This raises further questions: with the advent of democratic movements and polices of equalization, what does oppression mean for women and pastoral women in particular?
This study further questions the significance of state and global-centred approaches of many studies that have been done in general on pastoral societies and especially women. My tentative take on this is that such approaches minimize the roles of women as historical actors. This will bring a better understanding of the agency of women such as the Borana who have been omitted from the historical record.
This is not common only in regard to African women. For much of human history, women have not been recognized as significant in historical inquiry despite their many contributions. Dorothy L. David M. Upsaliensis, , — Thesis , Mario I. Sidikou and Thomas Albert Hale, eds. A Case of Tanzania London: C. Hurst and Company, , Castagno A. Colonial authority was suscpicious about movement across international boundaries by pastoral societies and them as hostile to the interest of the state. Brendan McSherry and Jennifer N. Bethwell Ogot and William R.
KNA Official Gazette, Neal Walter Sobania, Background history of the Mt. Dorothy Hodgson, ed. Fiona A. For details, see Joanna. For details on policies that subjected women to domestic sphere, see Mama, Amina. Danial G. Peter M. Koissaba Ole. Women in Borana society traditionally did not have the rights to own property or control over their reproductive labour; if they had any, it was only indirectly, by virtue of being married to a wealthy herd-owning man.
Michael Edwards and D. Hulme, D. However, the efficiency of the PPG has since been hampered by internal strife, a lack of organization and a lack of capacity building. For more details on the history of the PPG, see K. In Kenya, these movements led to a weakening of allegiance to the totalitarian Moi regime and of the influence of the Kenya African National Union KANU , which had been the only political party in existence since Accessed 23 Nov Camel milk, capital, and gender: The changing dynamics of pastoralist dairy markets in Kenya.
Accessed 10 Jan This explains the fact that during the devastating famines of and in which 12 to 30 million Indians starved to death, mortality rates were highest in areas serviced by British rail lines. Gilley argues current poverty and instability within the Democratic Republic of the Congo proves the Congolese were better off under Belgian rule.
The evidence says otherwise. Since independence in , life expectancy in the Congo has climbed steadily, from around 41 years on the eve of independence to 59 in This figure remains low compared to most other countries in the world. Nonetheless, it is high compared to what it was under Belgian rule. Under colonial rule, the Congolese population declined by estimates ranging from three million to 13 million between and due to widespread disease, a coercive labour regime and endemic brutality.
Gilley argues the benefits of colonialism can be observed by comparing former colonies to countries with no significant colonial history. Yet his examples of the latter erroneously include Haiti a French colony from to , Libya a direct colony of the Ottoman Empire from and of Italy from , and Guatemala occupied by Spain from to By contrast, he neglects to mention Japan, a country that legitimately was never colonized and now boasts the third largest GDP on the planet , as well as Turkey, which up until recently was widely viewed as the most successful secular country in the Muslim world.
In short, the facts are in, but they do not paint the picture that Gilley and other imperial apologists would like to claim. Colonialism left deep scars on the Global South and for those genuinely interested in the welfare of non-Western countries, the first step is acknowledging this. Screen music and the question of originality - Miguel Mera — London, Islington. UEA Inaugural lecture: Alternative performance measures: do managers disclose them to inform us, or to mislead us?
Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. A controversial article in a respected academic journal recently made the argument for colonialism. Here, a man is carried by Congolese men in a photo from the early 20th centiry. In the modern postcolonial period, areas formerly ruled directly by the British perform worse economically and have significantly less access to various public goods , such as health care , public infrastructure , and education.
In his book Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Colonialism , Mamdani claims the two types of rule were each sides of the same coin. Instead, European powers divided regions along urban-rural lines and instituted separate systems of government in each area. Mamdani argues that current issues in postcolonial states are the result of colonial government partition, rather than simply poor governance as others have claimed.
Using the examples of South Africa and Uganda, Mamdani observed that, rather than doing away with the bifurcated model of rule, postcolonial regimes have reproduced it. European colonizers engaged in various actions around the world that had both short term and long term consequences for the colonized. Numerous scholars have attempted to analyze and categorize colonial activities by determining if they have positive or negative outcomes. Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff categorized activities, which were driven by regional factor endowments, by determining whether they were associated with high or low levels of economic development.
Gallego employed a simple tripartite classification: good, bad, and ugly. Regardless of the system of classification, the fact remains, colonial actions produced varied outcomes which continue to be relevant. In trying to assess the legacy of colonization, some researchers have focused on the type of political and economic institutions that existed before the arrival of Europeans.
Heldring and Robinson conclude that while colonization in Africa had overall negative consequences for political and economic development in areas that had previous centralized institutions or that hosted white settlements, it possibly had a positive impact in areas that were virtually stateless, like South Sudan or Somalia. According to the scholar, this is due to the fact that during the colonization, European liberal institutions were not easily implemented.
As Ugo Pipitone argues, prosperous economic institutions that sustain growth and innovation did not prevail in areas like China, the Arab world, or Mesoamerica because of the excessive control of these proto-States on private matters. Throughout the era of European colonization, those in power routinely partitioned land masses and created borders that are still in place today. The Berlin Conference of systemized European colonization in Africa and is frequently acknowledged as the genesis of the Scramble for Africa. The Conference implemented the Principle of Effective Occupation in Africa which allowed European states with even the most tenuous connection to an African region to claim dominion over its land, resources, and people.
In effect, it allowed for the arbitrary construction of sovereign borders in a territory where they had never previously existed. Jeffrey Herbst has written extensively on the impact of state organization in Africa. William F. Miles of Northeastern University , argues that this perfunctory division of the entire continent created expansive ungoverned borderlands. These borderlands persist today and are havens for crimes like human trafficking and arms smuggling. Herbst notes a modern paradox regarding the colonial borders in Africa: while they are arbitrary there is a consensus among African leaders that they must be maintained.
Organization of African Unity in cemented colonial boundaries permanently by proclaiming that any changes made were illegitimate. Modern national boundaries are thus remarkably invariable, though the stability of the nation states has not followed in suit. African states are plagued by internal issues such as inability to effectively collect taxes and weak national identities.
Lacking any external threats to their sovereignty, these countries have failed to consolidate power, leading to weak or failed states. Though the colonial boundaries sometimes caused internal strife and hardship, some present day leaders benefit from the desirable borders their former colonial overlords drew. For example, Nigeria 's inheritance of an outlet to the sea — and the trading opportunities a port affords — gives the nation a distinct economic advantage over its neighbor, Niger.
When European colonials entered a region, they invariably brought new resources and capital management. Different investment strategies were employed, which included focuses on health, infrastructure, or education. All colonial investments have had persistent effects on postcolonial societies, but certain types of spending have proven to be more beneficial than others. French economist Elise Huillery conducted research to determine specifically what types of public spending were associated with high levels of current development.
Her findings were twofold. First, Huillery observes that the nature of colonial investments can directly influence current levels of performance. Increased spending in education lead to higher school attendance; additional doctors and medical facilities decreased preventable illnesses in children; and a colonial focus on infrastructure translated into more modernized infrastructure today. Adding to this, Huillery also learned that early colonial investments instituted a pattern of continued spending that directly influenced the quality and quantity of public goods available today. According to Mahmood Mamdani, prior to colonization, indigenous societies did not necessarily consider land private property.
Alternately, land was a communal resources that everyone could utilize. Once natives began interacting with colonial settlers, a long history of land abuse followed. Extreme examples of this include Trail of Tears , a series of forced relocations of Native Americans following the Indian Removal Act of , and the apartheid system in South Africa. Australian anthropologist Patrick Wolfe points out that in these instances, natives were not only driven off land, but the land was then transferred to private ownership.
Making seemingly contradictory argument, Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson view strong property rights and ownership as an essential component of institutions that produce higher per capita income. They expand on this by saying property rights give individuals the incentive to invest, rather than stockpile, their assets. While this may appear to further encourage colonialists to exert their rights through exploitative behaviors, instead it offers protection to native populations and respects their customary ownership laws.
Looking broadly at the European colonial experience, Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson explain that exploitation of natives transpired when stable property rights intentionally did not exist. These rights were never implemented in order to facilitate the predatory extraction of resources from indigenous populations. Bringing the colonial experience to the present that, they maintain that broad property rights set the stage for the effective institutions that are fundamental to strong democratic societies.
In a study of the legal systems in various countries, La Porta, et al. The areas where the property rights over the land were given to landlords registered lower productivity and agricultural investments in post-Colonial years compared to areas where land tenure was dominated by cultivators. The former areas also have lower levels of investment in health and education. Prominent Guyanese scholar and political activist Walter Rodney wrote at length about the economic exploitation of Africa by the colonial powers.
In particular, he saw labourers as an especially abused group. While a capitalist system almost always employs some form of wage labour , the dynamic between labourers and colonial powers left the way open for extreme misconduct. According to Rodney, African workers were more exploited than Europeans because the colonial system produced a complete monopoly on political power and left the working class small and incapable of collective action. Combined with deep-seated racism , native workers were presented with impossible circumstances.
The racism and superiority felt by the colonizers enabled them to justify the systematic underpayment of Africans even when they were working alongside European workers. Colonialists further defended their disparate incomes by claiming a higher cost of living. Rodney challenged this pretext and asserted the European quality of life and cost of living were only possible because of the exploitation of the colonies and African living standards were intentionally depressed in order to maximize revenue.
In its wake, Rodney argues colonialism left Africa vastly underdeveloped and without a path forward. The colonial changes to ethnic identity have been explored from the political, sociological, and psychological perspectives. Colonialism in all forms, was rarely an act of simple political control. Fanon argues the very act of colonial domination has the power to warp the personal and ethnic identities of natives because it operates under the assumption of perceived superiority.
Natives are thus entirely divorced from their ethnic identities, which has been replaced by a desire to emulate their oppressors. Ethnic manipulation manifested itself beyond the personal and internal spheres. Scott Straus from the University of Wisconsin describes the ethnic identities that partially contributed to the Rwandan genocide. While politically this situation was incredibly complex, the influence ethnicity had on the violence cannot be ignored. Before the German colonization of Rwanda, the identities of Hutu and Tutsi were not fixed.
Germany ruled Rwanda through the Tutsi dominated monarchy and the Belgians continued this following their takeover. Belgian rule reinforced the difference between Tutsi and Hutu. Tutsis were deemed superior and were propped up as a ruling minority supported by the Belgians, while the Hutu were systematically repressed. The country's power later dramatically shifted following the so-called Hutu Revolution, during which Rwanda gained independence from their colonizers and formed a new Hutu-dominated government.
Deep-seated ethnic tensions did not leave with the Belgians. Instead, the new government reinforced the cleavage.
Joel Migdal of the University of Washington believes weak postcolonial states have issues rooted in civil society. These organizations are a melange of ethnic, cultural, local, and familial groups and they form the basis of our society. The state is simply one actor in a much larger framework. Strong states are able to effectively navigate the intricate societal framework and exert social control over people's behavior. Weak states, on the other hand, are lost amongst the fractionalized authority of a complex society.
Migdal expands his theory of state-society relations by examining Sierra Leone. At the time of Migdal's publication , the country's leader, President Joseph Saidu Momoh , was widely viewed as weak and ineffective. Just three years later, the country erupted into civil war , which continued for nearly 11 years. The basis for this tumultuous time, in Migdal's estimation, was the fragmented social control implemented by British colonizers. Using the typical British system of indirect rule, colonizers empowered local chiefs to mediate British rule in the region, and in turn, the chiefs exercised social control.
After achieving independence from Great Britain, the chiefs remained deeply entrenched and did not allow for the necessary consolidation of power needed to build a strong state. The peculiar nature of postcolonial politics makes this increasingly difficult. The Spanish Crown organised a mission the Balmis expedition to transport the smallpox vaccine and establish mass vaccination programs in colonies in From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, the elimination or control of disease in tropical countries became a necessity for all colonial powers. John S. Milloy published evidence indicating that colonialists had intentionally concealed information on the spread of disease in his book A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, to