Elites and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century by Jost Dülffer, Marc Frey

By Jost Dülffer, Marc Frey

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Failing to achieve this, in practice intelligence communities took a more repressive turn, a shift illustrated by the examples below. Intelligence providers and state repression: The Algerian example Postwar Algeria offers evidence of a highly authoritarian and communally divided society in which elite intelligence provision altered the complexion of the late colonial state. Two related examples, one from 1945, the other from 1948–50 should prove the point. 34 While historical debate has tended to center on whether or not the Sétif uprising signified the real start of Algeria’s war of independence, the massive state repression which followed placed intelligence providers at the heart of state action.

Within the colonies, before 1945, information on the popular mood was generally used to uphold imperial power rather than to adjust policies to meet the demands of the indigenous population. The rigid confinement of indigenous staff to junior positions makes it difficult to speak of genuinely mixed, hybridized European-indigenous intelligence communities rather than Europeancontrolled intelligence systems employing local subordinates. But greater reliance on these junior functionaries in the provision of agents’ reports and in the maintenance of public order also altered the nature of intelligence gathering and assessment, something that would become more 16 Intelligence and the Late Colonial State apparent in the postwar empires as developmentalism, reform plans, and the pressure of popular opposition gathered momentum.

Southeast Asian societies before Western colonialism consisted of small groups linked through patron–client relations.

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