Heterogeneous imperialism
Deciding against regulation in West Africa
in Sex, politics and empire
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This chapter explores the heterogeneity of imperial sexuality politics and more generally of imperialism from a different angle. It suggests that regulation travelled poorly to Africa, in part because it was impeded by colonial environments, as seen and experienced by those who inhabited and governed them. English purity movements made an equally weak impression in Africa, despite pretensions to world-wide, or at least empire-wide, significance. When the British attempted to overreach their limited authority in West Africa, they were opposed. The chapter traces the deliberations on the possibility of introducing contagious diseases (CD) laws on the part of key figures in Sierra Leone's colonial establishment. It reflects and perhaps reproduces a preoccupation within historical and geographical research on imperialism and sexuality with CD laws. It might equally be argued that the government of Sierra Leone did not introduce CD laws because it had found other ways of regulating prostitution.

Sex, politics and empire

A Postcolonial Geography

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