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Table of contents

In a study of the legal systems in various countries, La Porta, et al. The areas where the property rights over the land were given to landlords registered lower productivity and agricultural investments in post-Colonial years compared to areas where land tenure was dominated by cultivators. The former areas also have lower levels of investment in health and education.


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Prominent Guyanese scholar and political activist Walter Rodney wrote at length about the economic exploitation of Africa by the colonial powers. In particular, he saw labourers as an especially abused group. While a capitalist system almost always employs some form of wage labour , the dynamic between labourers and colonial powers left the way open for extreme misconduct.

According to Rodney, African workers were more exploited than Europeans because the colonial system produced a complete monopoly on political power and left the working class small and incapable of collective action. Combined with deep-seated racism , native workers were presented with impossible circumstances. The racism and superiority felt by the colonizers enabled them to justify the systematic underpayment of Africans even when they were working alongside European workers.

Colonialists further defended their disparate incomes by claiming a higher cost of living. Rodney challenged this pretext and asserted the European quality of life and cost of living were only possible because of the exploitation of the colonies and African living standards were intentionally depressed in order to maximize revenue. In its wake, Rodney argues colonialism left Africa vastly underdeveloped and without a path forward.

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The colonial changes to ethnic identity have been explored from the political, sociological, and psychological perspectives. Colonialism in all forms, was rarely an act of simple political control. Fanon argues the very act of colonial domination has the power to warp the personal and ethnic identities of natives because it operates under the assumption of perceived superiority. Natives are thus entirely divorced from their ethnic identities, which has been replaced by a desire to emulate their oppressors.

Ethnic manipulation manifested itself beyond the personal and internal spheres. Scott Straus from the University of Wisconsin describes the ethnic identities that partially contributed to the Rwandan genocide. While politically this situation was incredibly complex, the influence ethnicity had on the violence cannot be ignored. Before the German colonization of Rwanda, the identities of Hutu and Tutsi were not fixed. Germany ruled Rwanda through the Tutsi dominated monarchy and the Belgians continued this following their takeover.

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Belgian rule reinforced the difference between Tutsi and Hutu. Tutsis were deemed superior and were propped up as a ruling minority supported by the Belgians, while the Hutu were systematically repressed. The country's power later dramatically shifted following the so-called Hutu Revolution, during which Rwanda gained independence from their colonizers and formed a new Hutu-dominated government. Deep-seated ethnic tensions did not leave with the Belgians. Instead, the new government reinforced the cleavage.

Joel Migdal of the University of Washington believes weak postcolonial states have issues rooted in civil society.

These organizations are a melange of ethnic, cultural, local, and familial groups and they form the basis of our society. The state is simply one actor in a much larger framework. Strong states are able to effectively navigate the intricate societal framework and exert social control over people's behavior. Weak states, on the other hand, are lost amongst the fractionalized authority of a complex society. Migdal expands his theory of state-society relations by examining Sierra Leone. At the time of Migdal's publication , the country's leader, President Joseph Saidu Momoh , was widely viewed as weak and ineffective.

Just three years later, the country erupted into civil war , which continued for nearly 11 years. The basis for this tumultuous time, in Migdal's estimation, was the fragmented social control implemented by British colonizers. Using the typical British system of indirect rule, colonizers empowered local chiefs to mediate British rule in the region, and in turn, the chiefs exercised social control.

After achieving independence from Great Britain, the chiefs remained deeply entrenched and did not allow for the necessary consolidation of power needed to build a strong state. The peculiar nature of postcolonial politics makes this increasingly difficult.

The Spanish Crown organised a mission the Balmis expedition to transport the smallpox vaccine and establish mass vaccination programs in colonies in From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, the elimination or control of disease in tropical countries became a necessity for all colonial powers. John S. Milloy published evidence indicating that colonialists had intentionally concealed information on the spread of disease in his book A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, to According to Milloy, the Government of Canada was aware of the origins of many diseases but maintained a secretive policy.

Medical professionals had knowledge of this policy, and further, knew it was causing a higher death rate among indigenous people, yet the policy continued.

Evidence suggests, government policy was not to treat natives infected with tuberculosis or smallpox, and native children infected with smallpox and tuberculosis were deliberately sent back to their homes and into native villages by residential school administrators. European governments, and medical professionals in Canada, [69] were well aware that tuberculosis and smallpox were highly contagious, and that deaths could be prevented by taking measures to quarantine patients and inhibit the spread of the disease.

They failed to do this, however, and imposed laws that in fact ensured that these deadly diseases spread quickly among the indigenous population. Despite the high death rate among students from contagious disease, in the Canadian government made attendance at residential schools mandatory for native children, threatening non-compliant parents with fines and imprisonment. Milloy argued that these policies regarding disease were not conventional genocide, but rather policies of neglect aimed at assimilating natives. Thomas University , have argued that some European colonists, having discovered that indigenous populations were not immune to certain diseases, deliberately spread diseases to gain military advantages and subjugate local peoples.

In his book The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada, Chrisjohn argues that the Canadian government followed a deliberate policy amounting to genocide against native populations. British officers, including the top British commanding generals Amherst and Gage , ordered, sanctioned, paid for and conducted the use of smallpox against the Native Americans during the siege of Fort Pitt.

During his time in the Spanish West Indies, he witnessed many of the atrocities committed by Spanish colonists against the natives. During the sixteenth century, Spanish priest and philosopher Francisco Suarez — expressed his objections to colonialism in his work De Bello et de Indis On War and the Indies. In this text and others, Suarez supported natural law and conveyed his beliefs that all humans had rights to life and liberty. Along these lines, he argued for the limitation of the imperial powers of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor by underscoring the natural rights of indigenous people.

Accordingly, native inhabitants of the colonial Spanish West Indies deserved independence and each island should be considered a sovereign state with all the legal powers of Spain. Denis Diderot was openly critical of ethnocentrism and the colonisation of Tahiti. The two speakers discuss their cultural differences, which acts as a critique of European culture. The effects of European colonialism have consistently drawn academic attention in the decades since decolonization.

New theories continue to emerge. The field of colonial and postcolonial studies has been implemented as a major in multiple universities around the globe. Satellite nations are anchored to, and subordinate to, metropolitan countries because of the international division of labor.

Chapter 9 – The Paradoxes of Democracy and the Rule of Law

Satellite countries are thus dependent on metropolitan states and incapable of charting their own economic path. The theory was introduced in the s by Raul Prebisch, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America after observing that economic growth in wealthy countries did not translate into economic growth in poor countries.

Walter Rodney , in his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa , used this framework when observing the relationship between European trading companies and African peasants living in postcolonial states. Through the labour of peasants, African countries are able to gather large quantities of raw materials.

Rather than being able to export these materials directly to Europe, states must work with a number of trading companies, who collaborated to keep purchase prices low.

Awkward Embrace One Party Domination And Democracy In Industrialising Countries

The trading companies then sold the materials to European manufactures at inflated prices. Finally the manufactured goods were returned to Africa, but with prices so high, that labourers were unable to afford them. This led to a situation where the individuals who labored extensively to gather raw materials were unable to benefit from the finished goods. Neocolonialism is the continued economic and cultural control of countries that have been decolonized.

In Nkrumah's estimation, traditional forms of colonialism have ended, but many African states are still subject to external political and economic control by Europeans.