Pub. Date:
Ohio University Press
Control & Crisis In Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic Of Domination

Control & Crisis In Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic Of Domination

by Bruce Berman


Current price is , Original price is $34.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


This history of the political economy of Kenya is the first full length study of the development of the colonial state in Africa.

Professor Berman argues that the colonial state was shaped by the contradictions between maintaining effective political control with limited coercive force and ensuring the profitable articulation of metropolitan and settler capitalism with African societies.

This dialectic of domination resulted in both the uneven transformation of indigenous societies and in the reconstruction of administrative control in the inter-war period.

The study traces the evolution of the colonial state from its skeletal beginnings in the 1890s to the complex bureaucracy of the post-1945 era which managed the growing integration of the colony with international capital. These contradictions led to the political crisis of the Mau Mau emergency in 1952 and to the undermining of the colonial state.

The book is based on extensive primary sources including numerous interviews with Kenyan and British participants. The analysis moves from the micro-level of the relationship of the District Commissioners and the African population to the macro-level of the state and the political economy of colonialism.

Professor Berman uses the case of Kenya to make a sophisticated contribution to the theory of the state and to the understanding of the dynamics of the development of modern African political and economic institutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821409947
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 03/01/1999
Series: Eastern African Studies
Edition description: 1
Pages: 494
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Bruce Berman is a professor of political studies at Queen's University, Ontario.

Table of Contents

Maps and Tablesix
Preface and Acknowledgementsxi
Introduction: The Problem of the Colonial State1
1Capitalism and the Colonial State11
Marxist theory and the study of the state12
Structural determinism, human agency and the archaeology of the state16
The state, bureaucracy and the dialectic of control23
Forging the links: the colonial state and the process of articulation34
2Contradictory Foundations: Peasants, Settlers and the Origins of the Colonial State in Kenya49
Conquest, collaboration and political control: the origins of peasant commodity production52
Private capital, settlers and the state55
African labour and the contradiction between estate and peasant production58
Contradictions and the emergent character of the state66
3The Bureaucratic Dialectic: Structure, Process and Ideology in the Colonial State73
Authority, discretion and decision-making in the colonial state73
Knowledge and power in the colonial state88
Finding the right man: the recruitment and training of administrators97
Ideology in the colonial state: paternalistic authoritarianism and the ruling class104
4The State and the Settlers: The Political Economy of Survival, 1918-39128
The settler estate economy: economic weakness and political aggressiveness130
The labour imperative: paternalism, coercion and the state143
Managing for the settlers: the Depression and the growth of the state apparatus161
Metropolitan capital and the settlers: class power and the colonial state172
The Kenya stalemate185
5The Colonial State and the African: The Political Economy of Colonial Control199
'Prestige', bluff and bargaining: the ideology and practice of district administration202
African collaborators and the instruments of control: chiefs, tribunals and councils208
The social forces of accommodation and conflict: commodity production, labour and class formation in African societies218
Cooptation and conflict: the development of African political organizations226
From cooptation to repression: the Depression, African politics and the state233
6The Colonial State and the Political Economy of Growth, 1940-52256
State monopoly trading and the changing relationship with the metropole257
Growth and development in the Kenya economy, 1945-55262
'Development' policy in the African Reserves: social disintegration and authoritarian control274
Change and cleavage in the state apparatus282
7Political Struggle and the Crisis of the Colonial State, 1945-52300
Development policy and African unrest: intensifying the contradictions301
Class struggles, the state and the failure of 'political development' policy307
Contradiction and conflict in the state apparatus314
African politics and the state: the escalating struggle322
8The Colonial State and the Emergency: The Renaissance of Provincial Administration, 1952-60347
Pacification, mystification and reform348
False renaissance: the colonial state and the reconstruction of Kikuyu society361
9The Eclipse of the Colonial State: The Political Economy of Decolonization, 1954-63377
The growth of African commodity production and the declining importance of settler agriculture379
From coercive control to 'modern labour relations': international capital and the transformation of the labour system385
The decline of the colonial state: constitutional change and African nationalism395
The decline of the colonial state: changes in the bureaucratic apparatus402
The end of the colonial state: decolonization and the new forms of collaboration405
10State, Capital and Class: The Real Colonial Legacy424
Ambiguous instrument: the state and the political economy of colonialism425

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews