For cocoa manufacturers the period of pacification and consolidation was marked by support for what became known as indirect rule in West Africa. This support is apparent both from the kind of images of Africans depicted in cocoa advertising during the first decade of the twentieth century and from the frequency with which such images were used. As we have seen, soap firms repeatedly used

in Imperial persuaders
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Indirect rule and settler colonialism in Australia’s north

In the 1930s, a series of crises transformed relationships between settlers and Aboriginal people in Australia’s Northern Territory. This book examines archives and texts of colonial administration to study the emergence of ideas and practices of indirect rule in this unlikely colonial situation. It demonstrates that the practice of indirect rule was everywhere an effect of Indigenous or ‘native’ people’s insistence on maintaining and reinventing their political formations, their refusal to be completely dominated, and their frustration of colonial aspirations to total control. These conditions of difference and contradiction, of the struggles of people in contact, produced a colonial state that was created both by settlers and by the ‘natives’ they sought to govern.

By the late 1930s, Australian settlers were coming to understand the Northern Territory as a colonial formation requiring a new form of government. Responding to crises of social reproduction, public power, and legitimacy, they rethought the scope of settler colonial government by drawing on both the art of indirect rule and on a representational economy of Indigenous elimination to develop a new political dispensation that sought to incorporate and consume Indigenous production and sovereignties. This book locates Aboriginal history within imperial history, situating the settler colonial politics of Indigeneity in a broader governmental context. Australian settler governmentality, in other words, was not entirely exceptional; in the Northern Territory, as elsewhere, indirect rule emerged as part of an integrated, empire-wide repertoire of the arts of governing and colonising peoples.

Transforming indirect rule

of native manners and customs, colonial rule would continue to produce an instability that undermined the steady march of progress. But with that knowledge, if colonisers knew their natives better, administration and control could succeed. Lugard's indirect rule, resting as it did on the notion that a truthful understanding of a subject society was the necessary basis for government, reflected the apogee of this era in British colonialism in which a preoccupation with problems of order and transformation – the ‘native question’ – was pre

in Governing natives
Tradition, modernity and indirect rule

We now turn our attention to political change. The familiar tale is that officials saw in indirect rule the best chance of sustaining ‘traditional’ African social systems in perpetuity. ‘Reformed’ indigenous elites would garner the respect of Africans by governing responsibly, thereby defusing the threat of social unrest and maintaining British power. It has been customary

in Exporting empire
Colonial transformations and a governmental event

. This recognition, framed by his anthropological expertise, was characteristic of the colonising practice of indirect rule. But he was uncertain about its consequences. How could Aboriginal laws be incorporated into the government of the Northern Territory? Were there limits to the reach of settler legal force? These are questions that appear anomalous to today's observer. Though historians of Australia have turned in recent years to the study of legal pluralism, it has generally been supposed that questions of jurisdiction had largely been settled by what Lisa Ford

in Governing natives
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Work and the ends of settler colonialism

which natives could be drawn for employment and to which they could return after their period of employment had terminated’. The provision of technical and agricultural training would make each station a ‘centre of hope and refuge’, depending on the direction of approach. The reserve, behind the buffer station, was produced as the site of people whose subjectivities were incommensurable with civic government, ‘left alone’ but to be governed, as it were, in accordance with a form of indirect rule. 3 Further afield, those

in Governing natives
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The death- knell of the imperial romance and imperial rule

imperial romance were Britain’s experiments with indirect rule from Fiji and Zululand in the 1880s to Nigeria and Tanganyika in the early twentieth century. These fostered some interesting partnerships between administrators and traditional leaders, before succumbing to the more powerful forces of anti-colonial nationalism led by educated elites. Promotion of ‘traditional leaders’ as imperial partners

in Imperium of the soul

informed government. This was the political rationality that underlay indirect rule. And they met these crises with a common response, one that located the government of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory as a colonial problem that could be informed by practices of native administration that circulated around the Empire. These settler colonial crises, and their responses, coalesced in McEwen's office in early 1938. A few weeks after asserting his responsibility to Cabinet, and with the two reports, the petition, and the delegation's claims fresh in his memory

in Governing natives

the Front itself. 135 A British prototype of Marshal Lyautey, Lord Lugard conceived and implemented in Central, East and West Africa a policy of indirect rule which bore several similarities to the one Lyautey later applied in Morocco. He played a leading role in the establishment of a British protectorate over Uganda, especially through his influential book The

in Heroic imperialists in Africa

Ireland, prepare it.4 Home Rule as shaped by the 1912 bill was a system of indirect rule with local administrative responsibility. Initial Ulster Unionist opposition to what constitutionally speaking was a very modest proposal concentrated on objecting to the control of the Irish civil service being handed over to the Irish government. Fears were expressed about the future of Protestant civil servants and the potential for administrative rather than legislative discrimination.5 However, as Ulster exclusion came to dominate the proceedings the clauses relating to the

in The civil service and the revolution in Ireland, 1912–38