ISBN 9789970023943
Pages 380
Dimensions 229 x 152 mm
Published 2003
Publisher Fountain Publishers, Uganda
Format Paperback

Governing Uganda

British Colonial Rule and its Legacy

by Gardner Thompson

An extended piece on the British colonial state mostly focused on the 1940s, arguably the most neglected decade in the study of Uganda's colonial history. The argument at its centre is that the Second World War exposed the central and abiding boundaries of British power; and laid bare the basic truth that the colonial state was inadequate and lacking in the necessary knowledge and imagination to adjust to the demands of the new global context. It further shows how the war transformed conditions of relative African co-operation and acquiescence, and British-Ugandan collaborative economic relationships.

The author's thesis is that there is a line of continuity from the colonial state as exposed by the Second World War, to the notorious fragility of the Ugandan state after independence, to the present Museveni regime. He suggests that a useful perspective may be to consider how African society impacted on British rule - besides the usual consideration of the impact of colonialism - and that it may no longer be accurate to consider the colonial period as a historical discontinuity. The author draws further parallels between the similarities of the Ugandan regime of the 1950s and the Museveni governmemt, proposing that a better understanding of this period may shed light on the crux of the problems of present-day government in Uganda.

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About the Author

Gardner Thompson

Gardner Thompson taught in Kampala from 1970 to 1972. Following an MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies, he undertook research on the colonial period in Uganda, at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and was awarded his PhD by London University in 1990. The 2003 publication of Governing Uganda: British Colonial Rule and its Legacy led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He taught History and Politics at Dulwich College, London, from which he retired as academic vice-principal in 2007.

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