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Political Economy of Colonialism (Panels organized for SASE 2021)

2-5 July 2021

Bastian Becker and Carina Schmitt are organizing panel sessions on Political Economy of Colonialism for the SASE 2021 Conference titled "After Covid? Critical Conjunctures and Contingent Pathways of Contemporary Capitalism".


Most countries in the Global South have been colonized at some point. It is now widely accepted that colonialism has not only inflicted immediate harm on populations in former colonies, but weakened institutions and undermined economic and political development in the long run. In recent years, scholars across the social sciences have set out to unpack the processes that underpin these legacies, paying greater attention to local conditions and interactions between different kinds of actors, including colonial administrations, local elites, and Christian missionaries amongst others. This scholarship benefits from a renewed interest in historical work and efforts to collect primary data from archival sources. Its theoretical and empirical detail frequently challenges received wisdom and points to many open questions that have not yet been systematically explored. Our two panels showcase innovative contributions to a growing literature.


Policy versus Networks: Why Missionaries Built More Schools in British Africa
Bastian Becker & Carina Schmitt (University of Bremen)

Colonialism's Legacies in Africa: Cohesion and Cleavage in National Electorates
Catherine Boone (London School of Economics) & Juliette Crespin-Boucaud (Paris School of Economics)

Colonial Education, Political Elites, and Regional Political Inequality in Africa
Joan Ricart-Huguet (Loyola University Maryland)


State-Church Synergies in Colonial Empires: Longitudinal Evidence on Missionary Expansion in Africa
Bastian Becker (University of Bremen)

The Search for Spices and Souls: Catholic Missions as Colonial State in the Philippines
Dean Dulay (Singapore Management University)

Colonial Influences, Labour Market Outcomes, and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Christian Converts in Urban British Africa
Felix Meier zu Selhausen (Wageningen University) & Jakob Weisdorf (Sapienza University )

Historical Missionary Activity, Schooling, and the Reversal of Fortunes: Evidence from Nigeria
Dozie Okoye (Dalhousie University), Roland Pongou (University of Ottawa)

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