2012-07-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1017/S0165115312000368
Managing the Prospect of Famine: Cape Verdean Officials, Subsistence Emergencies, and the Change of Elite Attitudes During Portugal's Late Colonial Phase, 1939-1961
Philosophische Fakultät III
The 1940s were a watershed for the Cape-Verdean Islands. Massive drought and famines destroyed the subsistence base for a large number of the islanders. Thousands died under these conditions, while another large group was driven was has repeatedly become known as forced migration or variant of forced labour (mainly towards São Tomé and Príncipe and Angola). The article discusses the role of a Cape Verdean elite of middle and low-level administrators who became involved in the management of the emergency situation and the organisation of compulsory migration. This elite was initially fully compliant to Portuguese expectations. Later, its members became disenchanted by their own experience of the 1947/48 food emergency, and took their distances from the failures of Portuguese social policy. However, even under the impact of such experiences, Cape Verdean administrators finally redefined their role within the logics of a colonial empire in which they now demanded to take a more responsible function.