Colonial and Postcolonial Statistics of the Belgian, British and French Empires, or the Figures of the World (19th-20th Century)

Touchelay Beatrice, Université Lille

The communication consists of specifying the stages and analysing the effects of the generalisation of the use of statistics to manage colonial empires and then to support independence and the establishment of bilateral and international cooperation in the 19th and 20th centuries. Reopening the file on the production of official statistics, it questions the modalities and effects of the generalization of government by numbers and the resulting standardization of power practices. The project consists in putting the manufacture and use of statistics back into practice in order to explain when and how these numerical representations have become essential instruments of power and to specify the effects of the generalization of these tools on the organization of colonial and post-colonial territories and on the standardization of the government practices they convey.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 217. State-building in Modern Colonial Empires