Seminar

RHI Seminar: Maciel Santos (University of Porto)

The “Granjas do Estado” (State farms) – bureaucracy and “natural economy” in Portuguese colonial administration (1908-1936)

Organisator Rural and Environmental History
Datum

di 25 november 2014 12:30 tot 14:00

Locatie Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Hollandseweg 1
201
6706 KN Wageningen
0317-483639
Zaal/kamer C81

The “Granjas do Estado” (State farms) – bureaucracy and “natural economy” in Portuguese colonial administration (1908-1936)

Max Weber, and many others after him, stressed the close connection between what he labelled as “bureaucracy”, that is the specific administration of capitalist societies, and moneyed societies.

Amongst the few hybrid cases of bureaucratic states with few or non-waged labour Weber considered, he did not include the European colonial administrations. However, the colonial state apparatus often had its administrative and military staff supported by labour services, at least in tropical Africa. In the Portuguese colonial administration the basic institution allowing for these savings was the so called “granja do Estado”. The French had their own “champ du commandant” and it remains to be seen what other similarities occurred  in the rest of colonial Africa.

In Angola, this odd mix of bureaucracy and feudalism was initially implemented in the  mid-19th century administration but it would only take its final format at the time of governor Paiva Couceiro (1907-1909). The colonial occupation of Southern Mozambique (1895-96) remained the main inspiration forthe late Angolan experiment.

This paper attempts to give a brief insight of this institution with the sole goal of contributing to highlight the peculiar forms of the colonial political economy.



More information about Maciel Santos can be found here.