Modernizing Nature Forestry and Imperial Eco-Development 1800-1950

Rajan, S. Ravi
Date published: 
January 2006

Professor Rajan explores the origins, institutionalization, and politics of the sciences and systems of knowledge underlying colonial frameworks of environmental management. He disagrees with those historiographical and social scientific approaches that look upon science and scientific institutions instrumentally as 'tools of empire'. Rather, he argues that the 'colonial' sciences had cognitive, ideological, and interventionist traditions distinct from each other and from the colonial bureaucracy and that histories of science, environmental management, and indeed of the colonial state, must comprehend these distinct cognitive traditions.