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Mobilité sociale et empire colonial : Les gouverneurs coloniaux français entre 1830 et 1960

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  • Chambru, Cédric
  • Viallet-Thévenin, Scott

Abstract

Cet article a pour but d'analyser les origines sociales de l'élite administrative du second empire colonial français. L'analyse prosopographique nous permet, à partir d'une nouvelle base de données englobant les 591 individus ayant occupé la fonction de gouverneur entre 1830 et 1960, de montrer que l'évolution des origines sociales de ces individus s'explique par les changements observés dans le rapport à la métropole, l'attrait des colonies et l'institutionnalisation des administrations coloniales. Nous nous appuyons sur une comparaison avec une élite administrative métropolitaine proche, le corps préfectoral, afin de mettre en évidence les spécificités de cette élite coloniale. Entre 1830 et 1960, la carrière coloniale offre aux individus qui s'y engagent des possibilités d'ascension sociale plus importantes que les carrières administratives en métropole. Ainsi, la mise en place de l'administration coloniale au tournant du XXe siècle - une période où les conditions sanitaires et sécuritaires rendent les colonies peu attractives - représente une opportunité sans pareille pour les individus issus des milieux les plus modestes et/ou aux carrières les plus atypiques. Le renforcement de la professionnalisation des carrières coloniales après la Première Guerre mondiale conduit à une homogénéisation plus forte des parcours et des origines des gouverneurs coloniaux. Les possibilités de mobilité sociale ascendante restent, cependant, fortes, et ne prendront fin qu'avec les bouleversements apportés par la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Suggested Citation

  • Chambru, Cédric & Viallet-Thévenin, Scott, 2017. "Mobilité sociale et empire colonial : Les gouverneurs coloniaux français entre 1830 et 1960," Working Papers unige:100709, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:gnv:wpaper:unige:100709
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    prosopographie; mobilité sociale; élites administratives; colonisation; vingtième siècle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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