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PPA Talk Series : Oppression or Empowerment: Explaining Colonial Narratives in Postcolonial States

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Speaker: Prof. Dean Dulay, Assistant Professor ,Department of Political Science and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at Singapore Management University.

Nations worldwide have toppled their colonial edifices, attempting to distance themselves from the past. Yet other countries appreciate their former colonizers, the symbols of which still stand proudly in state capitals. What explains variation in how postcolonial states frame their colonial past? The argument is grounded in colonial history: local elites in colonized countries mobilize for greater political rights, a consequence of national consciousness and foreign exposure. Colonial elites respond to local elite mobilization by marginalizing them or accommodating their demands. Greater marginalization increases the likelihood of violent anticolonial movements and a negative framing of colonial rejection; the native anticolonial government distances itself from the past. Greater accommodation increases the probability of a colonizer-led transition into independence and a positive frame of colonial appreciation, emphasizing continuity with the colonial past. Comparative historical analysis of three Southeast Asian countries—the Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia—supports the argument’s causal logic.

About the Speaker

Dean Dulay is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Singapore Management University. He received his PhD in Political Science (with a focus on Political Economy) at Duke University,MSc Economics degree from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Pompeu Fabra) and BS Economics degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. His main research interest centers on the Comparative Politics of Southeast Asia. He has a primary substantive interest in political history/historical political economy, colonialism and nationalism, and a secondary interest in the political economy of development.His work is published or forthcoming in outlets such as The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, The Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of East Asian Studies.

Date: 2024-04-17, Wed
Time: 15:30
Venue: Room 966, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Poster link: Oppression or Empowerment.jpg