Developing Africa

Concepts and practices in twentieth-century colonialism

Edited by Joseph Hodge, Gerald Hodl and Martina Kopf

Developing Africa


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  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9180-3
  • Pages: 432
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: September 2014
  • BIC Category: History, Colonialism & imperialism, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, African history, Africa, HISTORY / Africa / General
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


This book investigates development in British, French and Portuguese colonial Africa during the last decades of colonial rule. During this period, development became the central concept underpinning the relationship between metropolitan Europe and colonial Africa.

Combining historiographical accounts with analyses from other academic viewpoints, this book investigates a range of contexts, from agriculture to mass media. With its focus on the conceptual side of development and its broad geographical scope, it offers new and unique perspectives. An extensive introduction contextualises the individual chapters and makes the book an up-to-date point of entry into the subject of colonial development, not only for a specialist readership, but also for students of history, development and postcolonial studies.

Written by scholars from Africa, Europe and North America, Developing Africa is a uniquely international dialogue on this vital chapter of twentieth-century transnational history.


Joseph M. Hodge is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at West Virginia University

Gerald Hödl is an Independent Scholar

Martina Kopf is a Lecturer in African Studies and Development Studies at the University of Vienna


General editor's introduction
Introduction - Joseph Hodge and Gerald Hödl
PART I: Meanings of development in twentieth-century colonialism
1. From dead end to new lease of life: development in South-Eastern Tanganyika from the late 1930s to the 1950s - Juhani Koponen
2. Developing 'Portuguese Africa' in late colonialism: confronting discourses - Cláudia Castelo
3. A history of maendeleo: the concept of 'development' in Tanganyika's late colonial public sphere - Emma Hunter
PART II: Economic and rural development
4. The 'private'face of African development planning during the Second World War - Billy Frank
5. Ecological concepts of development? The case of colonial Zambia - Sven Speek
6. Developing rural Africa: rural development discourse in colonial Zimbabwe, 1944-79 - E.Kushinga Makombe
7. The tractor as a tool of development? The mythologies and legacies of mechanised tropical agriculture in French Africa, 1944-56 - Céline Pessis
PART III: Social development and welfare
8. From precondition to goal of development: health and medicine in the planning and politics of British Tanganyika - Walter Bruchhausen
9. 'Keystone of progress' and mise en valeur d'ensemble: British and French colonial discourses on education for development in the interwar period - Walter Schicho
10. Development and education in British colonial Nigeria, 1940-55 - Uyilawa Usuanlele
11. Motherhood, morality, and social order: gender and development discourse and practice in late colonial Africa - Barbara Bush
PART IV: Discourse-analytical and literary perspectives on colonial development
12. The world the Portuguese developed: racial politics, Luso-tropicalism, and development discourse in late Portuguese colonialism - Caio Simões de Araújoand Iolanda Vasile
13. Notions of 'développement' in French colonial discourses: changes in discursive practices and their social implications - Françoise Dufour
14. Developing Africa in the colonial imagination: European and African narrative writing of the interwar period - Martina Kopf
Epilogue: taking stock, looking ahead - Joseph Hodge

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