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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What was the 'indigénat'? The 'empire of law' in French West Africa
Author:Mann, GregoryISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Volume:50
Issue:3
Pages:331-353
Language:English
Geographic term:French West Africa
Subjects:colonial administration
colonial policy
legal status
indigenous peoples
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25622051
Abstract:What was the 'indigénat'? This article approaches this question via three arguments. First, a study of the 'indigénat' (the regime of administrative sanctions applied to colonial subjects) challenges the idea that French West Africa formed part of an 'empire of law'. Second, a dynamic spectrum of political statuses developed around the 'indigénat' until its abolition in 1946. This spectrum is no less significant than one of its poles alone, that of colonial citizens. Third, the 'indigénat', its narrative of reform, and its relationship to law, bureaucracy, and authority illuminate the tensions between imperial rhetoric and colonial governance. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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