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States of Imitation: Mimetic Governmentality and Colonial Rule

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Volume 11

Studies in Social Analysis

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States of Imitation

Mimetic Governmentality and Colonial Rule

Edited by Patrice Ladwig and Ricardo Roque

150 pages, 13 illus., bibliog.,index

ISBN  978-1-78920-737-8 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (June 2020)

ISBN  978-1-78920-738-5 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (June 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-739-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This delightful collection of studies from Lusophone and Francophone colonies finally advances us beyond the critique of colonial representations, to an ethnography of the ambiguities and risks of a reciprocal colonial presence.” • Peter Pels, Leiden University


Late Western colonialism often relied on the practice of imitating indigenous forms of rule in order to maintain power; conversely, indigenous polities could imitate Western sociopolitical forms to their own benefit. Drawing on historical ethnographic studies of colonialism in Asia and Africa, States of Imitation examines how the colonial state attempted to administer, control, and integrate its indigenous subjects through mimetic governmentality, as well the ways indigenous states adopted these imitative practices to establish reciprocal ties with, or to resist the presence of, the colonial state.

Patrice Ladwig is a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, and a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge.

Ricardo Roque is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa), and an Honorary Associate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.

Subject: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology


Introduction: Mimetic Governmentality, Colonialism, and the State
Patrice Ladwig and Ricardo Roque

Chapter 1. Dances with Heads: Parasitic Mimesis and the Government of Savagery in Colonial East Timor
Ricardo Roque

Chapter 2. Variants of Frontier Mimesis: Colonial Encounter and Intercultural Interaction in the Lao Vietnamese Uplands
Oliver Tappe

Chapter 3. The Hut-Hospital as Project and as Practice: Mimeses, Alterities, and Colonial Hierarchies
Cristiana Bastos

Chapter 4. Imitations of Buddhist Statecraft: The Patronage of Lao Buddhism and the Reconstruction of Relic Shrines and Temples in Colonial French Indochina
Patrice Ladwig

Chapter 5. Colonial Mimesis and Animal Breeding: Karakul Sheep in Southwestern Angola
Tiago Saraiva

Chapter 6. The Colonial State and Carnival: The Complexity and Ambiguity of Carnival in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa
Christoph Kohl

Chapter 7. Mimetic Primitivism: Notes on the Conceptual History of Mimesis
Patrice Ladwig

Postscript: The Risks and Failures of Imitation
Patrice Ladwig and Ricardo Roque

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