Exporting empire

Africa, colonial officials and the construction of the British imperial state, c.1900-39

By Christopher Prior

Exporting empire


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8368-6
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: February 2013
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Africa / General, Humanities / African history, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Modern History, History, Colonialism & imperialism, African history, Africa, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


For Africans, rank and file colonial officials were the most visible manifestation of British imperial power. But in spite of their importance in administering such vast imperial territories, the attitudes of officials who served between the end of the nineteenth century and the Second World War, as well as what shaped such attitudes, have yet to be examined in any systematic way.

In this original and revisionist work, Prior draws upon an enormous array of private and official papers to address some key questions about the colonial services. How did officials' education and training affect the ways that they engaged with Africa? How did officials relate to one another? How did officials seek to understand Africa and Africans? How did they respond to infrastructural change? How did they deal with anti-colonial nationalism? This work will be of value to students and lecturers alike interested in British, imperial and African history.


General Editor's introduction
1. The construction of a governing corps
2. An imperial education
3. Individualism, intrigue and esprit de corps
4. Envisioning imperial authority: Power, ritual and knowledge
5. Implementing colonial change: Economics, infrastructure and education
6. Managing social and political change: Tradition, modernity and indirect rule
7. Conclusion


Christopher Prior is Lecturer in Twentieth Century History at the University of Southampton

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