The introduction provides a comprehensive outline of the conceptual and core
chapters, and an explanation as to how they substantiate the arguments made
in this book. The arguments deployed are developed by a theoretical
framework which clarifies the key concepts. The conceptual chapters on
political elites and sovereignty are followed by a series of chronologically
based chapters which provide supporting evidence for the main conclusion.
The introduction includes a brief synopsis of the chapters, offering a
description of what each chapter specifically focuses on. This includes the
particular aspects of each chapter to be discussed and an explanation of how
the issues raised will be examined and addressed. In addition, the
introduction explains the role of the trajectories that are instrumental in
assisting the substantiation of the books’ central argument.
This chapter auto-critiques the editors early work (Crozier, Practising Colonial Medicine, 2007) for studying the Colonial Medical Service as a distinct entity, founded and run on shared principles, staffed by Europeans and micro-managed from Whitehall. The collection of chapters is introduced, particularly emphasising how each essay originally contributes to revising this flawed interpretation. The Colonial Medical Service is argued as being flexibly responsive to local demands, open to negotiation and cooperation with non-governmental partners, and very much different in reality to the unified image that is often assumed. Theoretically this dramatically pushes forward understandings of the history of government medicine in Africa, not least showing scholars that history is always on the move and can be rarely compartmentalised, despite the active public relations agenda of the British colonial government.