Seminar: Colonial administration, native taxation and fiscal subjects in former Portuguese Africa


Video duration: 
1 h 24 min.

The question of colonial policies with regard to the extraction of taxes, labour and natural resources in Africa has become an important thread in recent years in studies on the economic history of empire. Over the last decade, scholarly contributions have focused on the possible correlations between the nature of the 'colonial state' and the impact of its extractive policies on fiscal subjects, but also on the long-term impact of colonial policies on the economic development and institution building of post-colonial states in a comparative perspective. Until recently, the former Portuguese colonies in Africa have remained on the margins of this discussion, which has largely centered on former British Africa. This paper intends to partly redress this imbalance by means of a multidisciplinary focus on the cases of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique and to shed light on extractive policies, with particular emphasis on direct native taxation, while considering their implications for the debate on statehood and citizenship in empire.

Philip J. Havik (PhD Social Sciences, Leiden University, The Netherlands) is currently researcher at the Institute for Tropical Research (IICT) in Lisbon, and teaches at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FCSH) of the Universidade Nova in Lisbon. His multidisciplinary research focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, and West Africa in particular, with a special emphasis on the Guinea Bissau region, and centers on the study of state formation, colonial administration, taxation, public and indigenous health, entrepreneurship, social change and knowledge systems.  His most recent publications include ‘Virtual Nations and Failed States: making sense of the labyrinth’, in: Eric Morier-Genoud (ed.) Sure Road? Nationalism in Guinea Bissau, Angola and Mozambique (Leiden: Brill, 2012): 31-78.

Date, time and location

30 May 2013
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 3A06