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Colonial Empires, Actor Constellations, and their Legacies


Becker, Bastian; Shriwise, Amanda; Schmitt Carina, 2020

SOCIUM SFB 1342 WorkingPapers, 6

Bremen: SOCIUM, SFB 1342, 2020

Colonialism is a multifaceted phenomenon characterized by the establishment of political control, the subjugation of local populations, and economic exploitation. Even though most of today’s nation states have been colonized and subordinated to others at some point, many questions about how colonial legacies influence past and contemporary polities, politics, and policies in former colonies remain unanswered. In this paper, we address colonialism as a particular kind of transnational governance and put actors, their constellations, and strategic interactions at the center of the analysis. We argue that this actor-centric approach serves as an analytical and heuristic tool to bring about a more comprehensive and specific understanding of how colonial legacies manifest. This helps us to detect differences and similarities across and within Empires and also to identify changes and continuities between the pre- and post-independence eras.

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