Not logged in.

Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Attaining autonomy in the empire: French governors between 1860 and 1960
Organization Unit
  • Scott Viallet-Thévenin
  • Cédric Chambru
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 366
ISSN 1664-705X
Number of Pages 36
Date 2020
Abstract Text This article builds on the concept of linked ecologies to present a study of the occupational careers of French colonial governors between 1830 and 1960. We consider empires as the by-product of social entities structuring themselves. Specifically, we analyse the process of empowerment of this emerging group with respect to other professional groups within the imperial space and the French metropolitan space. Using data on the career of 637 colonial governors between 1830 and 1960, we examine how variations in the recruitment of these high civil servants actually reflect the empowerment of this social entity. We rely on optimal matching technique to distinguish typical sequence models and identify ten common career trajectories that can be grouped in four main clusters. We further compare the share of each clusters in the population of governors over time and show that the rise of the colonial cluster during the Interwar period corresponded to the peak of the administrative autonomy in the colonial space. We argue that this process is consistent with the empowerment of the governors’ corps, which is embodied by a common career within the colonial administration and a collective identity as a group.
Official URL
PDF File Download from ZORA
Export BibTeX
Keywords State employment decisions, empowerment, French colonial Empire, 19th century, 20th century