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Refugees or Rebels: Policing Environmental Migration in German Southwest Africa

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Abstract:

With its deserts and arid grasslands, the colony of Southwest Africa (Namibia) did not only pose economic challenges to the German colonialists around the turn of the twentieth century; it also confronted administrators, settlers, and soldiers with population movements and patterns of migration that went against the static settlement policies and plans of control and surveillance of the colonial government. In this paper, I will explore how the German colonial state attempted to police – and ultimately failed at policing – population movements from 1890 to the beginning of the First World War. In their attempts to establish reservations for the African populations, German officials often conflated the regular migrations following the oscillations of rainy and dry seasons with extraordinary migrations due to particular weather events and larger climatic patterns. And while administrators realized the importance of environmental factors, they tended to interpret all population movements as ultimately inspired by political motives.

In this paper, I am interested both in how the colonial administrators in Southwest Africa attempted to grapple with what is now sometimes called "environmental" migration, and in how far violence became an accepted tool to police population movements in the colonial context. To close, I will briefly discuss to what extent colonial practices became incorporated into both codified and customary frameworks in the metropole.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170031_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lehmann, Philipp. "Refugees or Rebels: Policing Environmental Migration in German Southwest Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170031_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lehmann, P. N. "Refugees or Rebels: Policing Environmental Migration in German Southwest Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170031_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: With its deserts and arid grasslands, the colony of Southwest Africa (Namibia) did not only pose economic challenges to the German colonialists around the turn of the twentieth century; it also confronted administrators, settlers, and soldiers with population movements and patterns of migration that went against the static settlement policies and plans of control and surveillance of the colonial government. In this paper, I will explore how the German colonial state attempted to police – and ultimately failed at policing – population movements from 1890 to the beginning of the First World War. In their attempts to establish reservations for the African populations, German officials often conflated the regular migrations following the oscillations of rainy and dry seasons with extraordinary migrations due to particular weather events and larger climatic patterns. And while administrators realized the importance of environmental factors, they tended to interpret all population movements as ultimately inspired by political motives.

In this paper, I am interested both in how the colonial administrators in Southwest Africa attempted to grapple with what is now sometimes called "environmental" migration, and in how far violence became an accepted tool to police population movements in the colonial context. To close, I will briefly discuss to what extent colonial practices became incorporated into both codified and customary frameworks in the metropole.


Similar Titles:
The Anatomy of Colonial Police Forces in former German Southwest Africa


 
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