the role of colonies for British governance

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Oct 4 16:50:51 UTC 2001

Dear list-members,

this is a relatively modern question pertaining to colonial history in
India: I recall having read, but not where, about the phenomenon that
British governance in colonies - India, in particular - played a crucial
role in establishing administrative and political practices on the British
isles themselves - contrary to common belief, it was not the case that
forms of administration which already existed in Britain were simply
exported to the colonies; rather, forms of administration which developed
in the colonies were later taken "back home". In other words, colonies
served as a kind of "testing ground" for administrative practices.

Unfortunately, I don't remember where I read this, nor am I sure that this
specific type of interaction between colonial and "home" governance was
postulated expressly with regards to administration. It might also have
been described within a wider framework of customs and social values.

I would appreciate any bibliographical references on this topic,

best regards,

Birgit Kellner
Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
Vienna University

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