Traditionally, social scientists have assumed that past imperialism hinders the future development prospects of colonized nations. Challenging this widespread belief, Matthew Lange argues in Lineages of Despotism and Development that countries once under direct British imperial control have developed more successfully than those that were ruled indirectly.
Combining statistical analysis with in-depth case studies of former British colonies, this volume argues that direct rule promoted cogent and coherent states with high levels of bureaucratization and inclusiveness, which contributed to implementing development policy during late colonialism and independence. On the other hand, Lange finds that indirect British rule created patrimonial, weak states that preyed on their own populations. Firmly grounded in the tradition of comparative-historical analysis while offering fresh insight into the colonial roots of uneven development, Lineages of Despotism and Development will interest economists, sociologists, and political scientists alike.