Bureaucracy and ‘Trusteeship’ in the Colonial Empire


in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198205647
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676727 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the British Empire

Bureaucracy and ‘Trusteeship’ in the Colonial Empire

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This chapter looks at the idea of trusteeship and bureaucracy in the Colonial Empire. One aspect of bureaucracy which became increasingly central as the 20th century progressed was interdepartmental relations. In the early days, it had not much troubled the Colonial Office what other government departments thought about the Empire. The doctrines of the Colonial Office and its principal contributions to policy-making are explored. Its doctrines were famously embodied in the term trusteeship which in the post-war era was elided into partnership, multiracialism and finally non-racialism. The imperatives of decolonization simply overwhelmed the maintenance of trusteeship.

Keywords: Colonial Empire; bureaucracy; trusteeship; Colonial Office; interdepartmental relations; policy-making; decolonization

Chapter.  11884 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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