Browse

You are looking at 81 - 90 of 1,727 items for :

  • Manchester Studies in Imperialism x
Clear All
Anna Bocking-Welch

Chapter 3 addresses the emotional history of international engagement, focusing on projects designed to develop familiarity and intimacy across international boundaries. It uses the international activities of the Women’s Institute and the Rotary Club to explore these issues. The projects discussed fall into two categories: providing hospitality to foreign visitors (particularly overseas students) and building friendships with people living overseas. It illustrates how imperial legacies determined not only the geographies of these connections but also the hierarchical structures through which they were conceived. Put simply, the possibility of equal or reciprocal friendship was determined to a considerable degree by the colour of one’s skin. The hospitality work of the Rotary Club and Women’s Institute also illustrates how affective relationships were shaped by local and state priorities. Through their interaction with the British Council, Rotary and the Women’s Institute became agents in state projects of soft diplomacy that sought to improve relations with the Commonwealth.

in British civic society at the end of empire
Anna Bocking-Welch

Chapter 1 is about the promotion of the Commonwealth as a model for international cooperation. Using the activities of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), it assesses the afterlife of empire as it was lived by those who had been the most involved. Negotiating the transition from Empire to Commonwealth was a complex process and this chapter is about the difficulty of adaptation. This is not a story of triumphant success – the membership of the RCS was an ageing cohort, often more interested in sociability than public engagement. But neither is it a story of outright failure. Many found scope for optimism by reflecting on the possibilities of the new modern Commonwealth. This chapter shows that the Commonwealth was not merely an ‘imperial hangover’ – the preservation of tradition to soothe those who had been invested in the imperial project – but that it also provided the foundation for new forms of cooperative partnership that informed many of the international engagement activities discussed in the later chapters.

in British civic society at the end of empire
Anna Bocking-Welch

Chapter 2 extends existing histories of imperial travel and exploration to reveal how ideas about reciprocity, knowledge, and the right to represent foreign peoples changed in the context of decolonisation. It uses the international activities of the Women’s Institute and Rotary Club to show how imperial decline shaped both the practical and discursive dimensions of educative activities such as film screenings, lectures, and International Days. Global events determined not only which parts of the world were worth investing time in, but also which aspects of foreign life were worth knowing about. This chapter shows that instigators of international engagements were typically mobile members of society who had some form of ‘first hand’ experience of the Empire/Commonwealth. While some speakers put themselves forward as amateur ambassadors, bringing their own experiences back to their local communities, others claimed authority by speaking from positions of professional expertise. This chapter uses these events as a window on to the wider debates about expertise and amateurism that characterised many discussions of diplomacy, international relations, development, and imperial administration in this period.

in British civic society at the end of empire
Abstract only
Anna Bocking-Welch

The Introduction sets out the two overarching themes of the book: the significance of associational life in determining public experiences of decolonisation, and the centrality of the idea of active citizenship to discourses of international engagement. It establishes the distinctive characteristics of the organisations discussed throughout the book – the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Women’s Institute, the Rotary Club, the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, and Christian Aid. The Introduction explains that the experiences of these organisations do not simply broaden our sense of who was affected by the end of empire, they also require us to rethink how we characterise the domestic impact of decolonisation and the enduring legacies of imperialism. Most significantly, for these groups the principles of international goodwill offered a sense of stabilising continuity that made them resistant to pessimistic readings of the 1960s implosion of Empire.

in British civic society at the end of empire
Anna Bocking-Welch

Chapter 4 assesses humanitarian engagements with the decolonising empire, using the Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC) to show how humanitarianism became a way to talk about Britain’s ‘lost vocation’. The typical narrative of post-war development is one of professionalisation. Rather than excluding the public from the ‘triumph of expertise’, the FFHC’s educational imperative sought to include them within it, providing the British public with an unprecedented opportunity to participate in international development. The FFHC was a global movement, but it also informed and was informed by specific national experiences. Britain’s own participation was shaped by the legacies of imperial and humanitarian intervention as well as the contemporary context of decolonisation. The chapter shows how the Campaign supported multiple, contradictory visions for Britain’s post-imperial global role.

in British civic society at the end of empire
Sabine Clarke

By the early 1950s, the Colonial Office was concerned that the work overseen by the CPRC was not making a tangible contribution to the economic development of the colonies. Officials complained that very few products developed through research were in commercial production. This chapter considers the factors that limited the success of the CPRC programmes, including the prospect of independence in Britain’s colonies and the shift towards oil as a raw material for making synthetics. It also explores why Colonial Office administrators had a change of heart when it came to the promotion of undirected, long-term programmes of fundamental research. The original vision of scientific research and colonial development did not place emphasis on rapid results, and the question of how the findings of research would be translated into practice was largely left unaddressed. While originally described as necessary conditions to cultivate fundamental research and attract high-calibre scientists, by the 1950s these arrangements had come to be seen as a problem. This chapter considers the external and internal factors that contributed to the demise of the agreement at the Colonial Office that undirected fundamental research had an important role to play in economic development.

in Science at the end of empire
Open Access (free)
Science and industrial development: lessons from Britain’s imperial past
Sabine Clarke
in Science at the end of empire
Sabine Clarke

It is practically a cliché to state that the British government did nothing to foster the growth of secondary industry in the British West Indies and that the first phase in the pursuit of industrial development after 1950 was inspired by the work of W. A. Lewis. This chapter revises this narrative by showing that Pioneer Industries legislation to encourage industrialisation in Trinidad was in place before the intervention of Lewis, and was in more accord with the concessions for new industry advocated by the Colonial Office in London. This is unsurprising when we consider that one of the authors of the Pioneer Industries legislation was an Economic Advisor seconded to Trinidad by the Colonial Office. This advisor was Arthur Shenfield, an advocate of minimal state intervention in economic affairs (in contrast to Lewis), and later in life, President of the Mont Pelerin Society. Altogether, the Colonial Office was successful in steering policy for industry along lines it saw as desirable until the 1956 elections that brought Eric Williams to power. This success was achieved not by direct instruction by London but through the judicious use of expert advisors.

in Science at the end of empire
Open Access (free)
Sabine Clarke
in Science at the end of empire
Sabine Clarke

The Colonial Products Research Council at the Colonial Office created a Sugar Technology Laboratory and Colonial Microbiological Research Institute in Trinidad during the late 1940s. The STL was partly funded by West Indian sugar manufacturers and explored the industrial uses of sugar cane and its by-products. The CMRI studied fermentation methods, sought ways to control fungal diseases of crops and man, and had a reference collection of useful microbes. The two laboratories in Trinidad were intended to be a tangible, visible, intervention in the British Caribbean at a point when the Colonial Office mostly offered advice on industrial development. Their function in conveying Britain’s commitment to modernising the colonies was derived from their status as world centres for science. The STL and CMRI were described as places of fundamental research into general scientific phenomena, and the prosecution of this type of work was said to allow Trinidad to participate in the international advance of science. This ability to contribute to the global circulation of knowledge was intended to be demonstration of Britain’s commitment to modernising its colonies.

in Science at the end of empire