France's Modernising Mission: Citizenship, Welfare and the Ends of Empire

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Ed Naylor
Springer, Dec 12, 2017 - History - 258 pages
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This volume explores how France’s ‘modernising mission’ unfolded during the post-war period and its reverberations in the decades after empire. In the aftermath of the Second World War, France sought to reinvent its empire by transforming the traditional ‘civilising mission’ into a ‘modernising mission’. Henceforth, French claims to rule would be based on extending citizenship rights and the promise of economic development and welfare within a ‘Greater France’. In the face of rising anti-colonial mobilization and a new international order, redefining the terms that bound colonised peoples and territories to the metropole was a strategic necessity but also a dynamic which Paris struggled to control. The language of reform and equality was seized upon locally to make claims on metropolitan resources and wrest away the political initiative. Intertwined with coercion and violence, the struggle to define what ‘modernisation’ would mean for colonised societies was a key factor in the wider process of decolonisation. Contributions by leading specialists extend geographically from Africa to the Pacific and to metropolitan France itself, examining a range of topics including education policy, colonial knowledge production, rural development and slum clearance.


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Battles Over Frances Policy of Adapted Education in French West Africa
Representative Democracy and the Chieftaincy in French West Africa
Chapter 3 Decolonisation Without Independence? Breaking with the Colonial in New Caledonia 19461975
Part II Mental Maps and the Territory
Chapter 4 Rule of Experts? Governing Modernisation in Late Colonial French Africa
The Colonial State and Social Engineering of Rural Space 18431962
Chapter 6 Shantytowns and Rehousing in Late Colonial Algiers and Casablanca
Part III Metropolitan Legacies
The Welfare Charity Aide Aux Travailleurs DOutre Mer 19501975
Class Logics Clientelist Relations and Colonial Redeployments
Housing Policy and Riot Prevention Strategies in the Minguettes District of Vénissieux

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About the author (2017)

Ed Naylor is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He completed his PhD in History at Queen Mary, University of London and held the Deakin fellowship at St Antony’s College, Oxford, before joining the University of Portsmouth in 2014.
Contributors: Tony Chafer, Françoise de Barros, Liz Fink, Abdellali Hajjat, Jim House, Neil MacMaster, James McDougall, and Benoît Trépied.

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