Portuguese colonial sociology: a peripheral dictatorship at the center of trans-imperial scientific cooperation in the social sciences in the post-Second World War period

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Abstract

Following the Second World War, Portugal actively participates in various forums for trans-imperial technical and scientific cooperation. The most important one was the Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (CTCA), which in 1950 brought together the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Portugal, Union of South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia. It intervened in several technoscientific and public policy domains and came about as a tentative barrier to UN and US interference in colonial Africa. Also important are
the Conférence Internationale des Africanistes de l’Ouest (CIAO), an initiative of the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN) which from 1945 onwards united scientists from countries with colonies in Western Africa; and the Institut Internationale des Civilisations Différentes (INCIDI), successor to the International Colonial Institute, an individual-membership organization created in 1894 and renamed after WW2. Overall, these organizations and Portugal’s role within them challenge the country’s supposed isolation from international scientific circles, during this period. This is true in general, but particularly relevant in the social sciences, since it is assumed that Portugal was alienated from this field. Even more so if we contrast this assumption with Portugal’s apparent commitment in these matters. In about ten years, between 1947 and 1957, the Portuguese government is involved in the organization of four conferences totally or partially devoted to the social sciences, three of them in Portuguese territory: the 1947 2nd CIAO in Bissau, the 1955 CCTA Inter-African Conference on Social Sciences in Bukavu; the 1956 6th CIAO in São Tomé; and the 1957 INCIDI 30th session in Lisbon. This paper explores Portugal’s contribution to these conferences in order to systematize the country’s participation in late colonial trans-imperial cooperation in the social sciences and to explore its political motives and the consequences of these dynamics to the general development of those sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages17-18
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023
EventHistory of Knowledge Conference - Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 22 Nov 202324 Nov 2023

Conference

ConferenceHistory of Knowledge Conference
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityPorto
Period22/11/2324/11/23

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