The Territorial Expansion of the Colonial State: Evidence from German East Africa 1890–1909

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Authors Jan Henryk Pierskalla, Alexander De Juan, Max Montgomery
Journal/Conference Name BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Paper Category
Paper Abstract What explains states’ sub-national territorial reach? While large parts of the state-building literature have focused on national capabilities, little is known about the determinants of the unevenness of state presence at the sub-national level. This article seeks to fill this gap by looking at early attempts at state building: it investigates the processes of state penetration in the former colony of German East Africa. Contrary to previous studies – which largely emphasized antecedent or structural factors – the current study argues that geographical patterns of state penetration have been driven by the state’s strategic imperative to solidify control over territory and establish political stability. The article tests these propositions using an original, geo-referenced grid-cell dataset for the years 1890 to 1909 based on extensive historical records in German colonial yearbooks and maps.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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