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Accountings's uses in exploitative human engineering: theorizing citizenship, indirect rule and Britain's imperial expansion

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Shanta Davie


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This historical study starts from the argument that financial economic quantification using accounting concepts and analysis has always been an essential and integral part of effective policies and activities for Britain’s Empire building. Theories of citizenship are used in particular to examine the close association between accounting and imperial policies during British indirect rule in Fiji. Through an examination of archival data and other relevant source material, the paper highlights the ways in which accounting helped translate Imperial forms of oppression and injustice into everyday work practice. Indirect rule generally required the separation and subordination of the Native population as subjects, and their exploitation within the Imperial hegemonic structures. This research is about a British regime of specific and deliberate power construct through which the indigenous population of subjects were oppressed and excluded from citizenship and from civil society. Focus is on the social and institutional relations that determined a unique pattern of inequality and the way in which accounting was effectively mobilised to serve the aims of British imperialism through indirect rule.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davie SSK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Accounting Historians Journal

Year: 2005

Volume: 32

Issue: 2

Pages: 55-80

Print publication date: 01/12/2005

ISSN (print): 0148-4184

Publisher: Academy of Accounting Historians



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