Lineages of Despotism and Development British Colonialism and State Power
by Matthew Lange
University of Chicago Press, 2009
Cloth: 978-0-226-47068-9 | Electronic: 978-0-226-47070-2
ABOUT THIS BOOKAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYREVIEWSTABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS BOOK

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.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Matthew Lange is assistant professor of sociology at McGill University.

REVIEWS

“Matthew Lange has produced an exceptional work of theoretical and methodological synthesis. He combines the insights of Peter Evans, Michael Mann, and Max Weber into a coherent and convincing explanation for the divergent impact of British colonialism on long-term human development. No one has mustered such an impressive array of qualitative and quantitative evidence to show that colonialism indeed mattered, and in fact mattered very much—not only for those who experienced British imperialism in their own lifetimes, but for their post-colonial descendants as well. With this book, Lange has established himself as a leading voice in the growing interdisciplinary debates on colonialism’s developmental legacies.”
— Dan Slater, University of Chicago

“Here in this book is the best explanation of the colonial roots of effective and defective states among the former British colonies yet produced. Lange offers sound theoretical reasons for why ‘direct’ versus ‘indirect’ British rule might set countries down profoundly different paths of development. And his empirical assessment, which includes both case studies and statistical tests, is extremely persuasive.”

— James Mahoney, Northwestern University

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgments

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0001
[British colonialism, developmental legacies, British rule, former colonies, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Guyana, Botswana, direct rule, postcolonial development]
This introductory chapter discusses the contents of this volume, which is about the developmental legacies of British colonialism. It evaluates the long-term impact of British rule on several former colonies including Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Guyana and Botswana. This chapter suggests that direct rule had a much more positive effect on broad-based development than indirect rule and provides evidence that the form of colonial rule helps explain much of the variance in postcolonial development among former British colonies. It also explains the three institutional differences that caused directly ruled British colonies to have greater legal administrative capacities and thereby superior developmental records. (pages 1 - 20)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0002
[colonial control, British Empire, direct rule, indirect rule, state bureaucratization, infrastructural power, inclusiveness, development, British Colonialism]
This chapter explores the possibility of British colonial state legacies through empirical and theoretical discussions. It reviews the rise and fall of the British Empire and compares the two general systems of colonial control employed by the British: direct and indirect rule. This chapter suggests that direct rule promoted state bureaucratization, infrastructural power and inclusiveness to a greater extent than indirect rule and thereby had more positive effects on development. (pages 21 - 44)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0003
[British rule, colonial legacies, statistical analysis, uneven development, hypotheses, state institutional legacies, postcolonial development, British colonialism, former British colonies]
This chapter examines the relationship between the form of British rule and several measures of postcolonial development and analyzes British colonial legacies. It provides an empirical analysis of the divergent developmental trajectories among former British colonies through a cross-national statistical analysis. This chapter evaluates three hypotheses of uneven development among former British colonies. These are the colonial, pre-colonial and postcolonial hypotheses. the statistical analysis provides strong and consistent evidence that the different state institutional legacies of British colonialism account for much of the variation in postcolonial development. (pages 45 - 66)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0004
[Mauritius, former British colony, direct rule, inclusive state, bureaucratic state, independence, development]
This chapter analyzes the case of Mauritius, a former directly ruled British colony. It investigates the determinants of Mauritian development in order to identify the mechanisms that link direct colonial rule and development, thereby shedding light on whether or not the relationship between the two is causal. This chapter describes how the relatively bureaucratic, infrastructurally powerful and inclusive state made possible broad-based development during late colonialism and after independence and provides evidence that direct rule caused these state characteristics. (pages 67 - 90)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0005
[Sierra Leone, former British colony, indirect rule, despotic state, postcolonial development, despotism]
This chapter analyze the determinants of the poor development record of Sierra Leone, a former indirectly ruled British colony. The analysis reveals that indirect rule institutionalized an ineffective and despotic state which reinforced Sierra Leone's poor developmental trajectory both during and after colonialism. The case of Sierra Leone provides evidence that despotism and limited state capacity are legacies of indirect rule and which influenced the negative relationship between indirect colonial rule and postcolonial development. (pages 91 - 114)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0006
[Guyana, former British colony, direct rule, despotism, independence, class inequality, cold war politics, development]
This chapter examines the causes of unexpectedly low development levels in Guyana, a former indirectly ruled British colony. It highlights the presence of despotism despite direct rule and explains that Guyana neither strengthened preexisting state structures, increased inclusiveness, nor began state-led development efforts. This chapter argues that the independence period was a critical-juncture period during which the intersection of class inequality and cold war politics readjusted the country's developmental trajectory. (pages 115 - 138)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0007
[Botswana, former British colony, indirect rule, state building, development, state reforms, independence, legal-administrative effectiveness]
This chapter examines the reason behind the successful state building and development of Botswana, a former British colony under indirect rule. It explains that a series of crises between 1948 and 1956 caused the breakdown of previous forms of colonial rule and created incentives for the construction of a larger and more centralized state. These events led to extensive state reforms in the 1950s which increased the state's legal-administrative effectiveness. The history of state building and development in Botswana demonstrates that independence was an important period during which critical institutional reforms could and did occur. (pages 139 - 168)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0008
[former British colonies, institutional mechanism, postcolonial development, Hong Kong, Barbados, Malaysia, indirect rule]
This chapter evaluates explores the generalizability of the findings from the in-depth case studies through several more abbreviated case studies of former British colonies. It analyzes eleven additional former British colonies to determine the institutional mechanisms that influenced postcolonial development. These include Hong Kong, Barbados and Malaysia. The findings confirm that indirect rule is strongly and negatively related to broad-based development. (pages 169 - 192)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Matthew Lange
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470702.003.0009
[developmental legacies, British colonialism, former British colonies, direct rule, postcolonial development, bureaucracy, infrastructural power, state inclusiveness]
This chapter sums up the key findings of this study about the developmental legacies of British colonialism and the uneven development among former British colonies. It identifies three state structural characteristics that helped former colonies under direct rule achieved broad-based postcolonial development. These include greater degree of bureaucracy and high levels of infrastructural power and state inclusiveness. This chapter concludes that colonial state legacies are an important cause of uneven development among former British colonies. (pages 193 - 208)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

Notes

Bibliography

Index