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Leigh Gardner and Tirthankar Roy


Bristol U.P. - Policy Press



Rights available:

All except China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan


Leigh Gardner is Associate Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Research Associate in African Economic History at Stellenbosch University. Tirthankar Roy is Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics.


Debates about the origins and effects of European rule in the non-European world have animated the field of economic history since the 1850s. This pioneering text provides a concise and accessible resource that introduces key readings, builds connections between ideas and helps students to develop informed views of colonialism as a force in shaping the modern world.

With special reference to European colonialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in both Asia and Africa, this book:

•critically reviews the literature on colonialism and economic growth;

•covers a range of different methods of analysis;

•offers a comparative approach, as opposed to a collection of regional histories, deftly weaving together different themes.

With debates around globalization, migration, global finance and environmental change intensifying, this authoritative account of the relationship between colonialism and economic development makes an invaluable contribution to several distinct literatures in economic history.


Colonial and Indigenous Origins of Comparative Development

Origins of Colonialism: Is There One Story?

Colonialism as an Agent of Globalization

Growth and Development in the Colonies

Debates about Costs and Benefits

How Colonial States Worked

Did Institutions Matter?

Colonialism and the Environment

Business and Empires

Decolonization and the End of Empire

Summary and conclusion


"The authors provide a clear and balanced guide to a burgeoning literature. Emphasizing diversity of outcomes, they consider how colonizers and colonized stimulated or hindered their respective economies, in the light of environmental constraints."   --William G. Clarence-Smith, SOAS University of London "This wide-ranging overview brings together work by economists and historians working on the economy, business and the environment. It is an essential text on any undergraduate syllabus concerning colonial economies."         --James Fenske, University of Warwick "This is a useful antidote for students against the rather superficial work that tends to blame underdevelopment in Asia and Africa simply on the legacies of colonialism.’’   &nb...


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