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Experts et expertise dans les mandats de la société des nations : figures, champs, outils

 | 
Philippe Bourmaud
, 
Norig Neveu
, 
Chantal Verdeil

L'internationalisation des mandats : processus normatif et constitution de champs des savoirs

The Mandates Commission, international bureaucracies and the legitimacy trap: the use and misuse of expertise and comparisons

La commission des mandats, les bureaucraties internationales et le piège de la légitimité : du bon et du mauvais usage de l’expertise et des comparaisons

Véronique Dimier

Résumé

Dans ce chapitre, j’entends démontrer comment la Commission permanente des mandats a pris part à un jeu dangereux en attachant sa légitimité et celle des pouvoirs mandataires à l’expertise et aux comparaisons. Du fait de leur compétition permanente, les pouvoirs mandataires se sont affaiblis mutuellement ce qui a aussi bien porté atteinte à leur propre légitimité qu’à celle de la Commission. Ils donnaient ainsi également des munitions aux représentants des populations indigènes qui remettaient en question leur domination et le système mandataire lui-même. Pour ce faire, ces derniers avaient parfois recours à la même expertise que les pouvoirs mandataires et la Commission.

Note de l’auteur

This paper received support from the Excellence Initiative of the University of Strasbourg, funded by the French government’s Future Investments program and from the Gutenberg Chaire.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Sarraut, 1931, pp. 120‑121.

This is a fact that observers have long neglected: colonial issues are no longer matters of national politics. International censorship turns its eyes on us more than ever. Thus all nations concerned with our material and moral results can arbitrate among us. Through this arbitrage, local and international sanctions hang over colonising nations, risks whose importance these nations cannot ignore. Their servitude is to legitimate themselves each day by their actions and to restore continuously their power and authority.1

  • 2 This article is drawn from my thesis, which I defended in 1999, and published in book form in 2004 (...)
  • 3 Dimier, 2004b.
  • 4 For a debate around the definition of the vague term of expertise, see: Bérard & Crespin, 2010; Sa (...)
  • 5 Leca, 1993; Dimaggio & Powell, 1991. For a case study see my book: Dimier, 2014.
  • 6 Dimier, 2004a.
  • 7 Dimier, 2004b.
  • 8 Pedersen, 2015, chapter 5.

1One could not find better words than Sarraut’s (the French Minister of the Colonies in the 1930s) to describe the impact of the League of Nations and of its mandates system on the legitimacy of mandatory powers, and by extension colonial powers. This legitimacy became increasingly linked to the principles laid down in the Covenant (art. 22) and accepted by the mandatory powers, consisting in ensuring “the well‑being and development” of “peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world.” More precisely it was connected to the mechanisms which were set up to control the mandatory powers.2 These powers had to demonstrate regularly, through questionnaires and reports, and in front of a Permanent Mandates Commission, that they were governing their mandates according to these principles. Substantial evidence of this was expected, requiring the creation of new bodies of professionals and experts, including “specialists in colonial administration.”3 Thus the legitimacy of the mandatory powers became connected to the professionals who helped gathering the facts; in a word, it became connected to “expertise.”4 The Permanent Mandates Commission itself, as a new‑born international bureaucracy, mainly based its authority and legitimacy on the moral principles it embodied and on expertise. Actually, since the Commission did not have its own means of control, its own civil servants or the right to investigate directly, this authority and legitimacy rested on the expertise provided by the mandatory powers and by their professionals. However, and this will be my main argument, linking legitimacy mainly to expertise, i.e. in my case to “efficiency” in following and implementing principles, may be a risky process for an institution, a double‑edged sword. First, because, as specialists of public policy and institutionalists have shown,5 it is difficult for an institution to prove its efficiency even if it is able to provide a wealth of figures and documents. Second, while expertise could be used by the Mandates Commission or the mandatory powers to enhance their cases, it could also be instrumentalised by their opponents to question their very legitimacy and authority. This was all the easier as the Mandates Commission was a political arena whose deliberations and reports were made public. As such, it could become a place where practices concerning “good colonial government” were discussed, exchanged and improved.6 Insofar as most of the permanent members of the Commission were from mandatory or colonial powers, it could have become the perfect ground for co‑operation. This would neglect the extent to which the Commission, through its peer pressure mechanism, could also become the perfect ground for stimulating rivalries between the mandatory powers, most notably France and Britain.7 The Mandates Commission being above all a place for “comparing,” this could lead to improvements, but also to unintended consequences. Indeed, I posit that because of their rivalries, each mandatory power could and did try, through these comparisons, to enhance its legitimacy at the expense of the other. Each strove to show that the other was less efficient in following the League’s principles, using expertise—in the case I developed in my work, a science of colonial administration—as its main yardstick. Only in cases where their authority as colonial and mandatory powers was seriously questioned, like during the French bombing of Damascus,8 did France and Britain quit squabbling and work together to quell the criticisms of their opponents. In this chapter I argue that, because of this permanent rivalry and comparison, France and Britain ended up mutually undermining their legitimacy and the legitimacy of the Permanent Mandates Commission. In the process they also provided ammunition to the representatives of the native populations who began to question their rule and the mandates system itself, sometimes using the same strategies (expertise and/or comparisons) as the mandatory powers and the Mandates Commission.

The Permanent Mandates Commission as an imperfect bureaucracy

  • 9 On international bureaucracies, see Barnett & Finnemore, 2004.
  • 10 Callahan, 1999, p. 128; Pedersen, 2015, p. 212.

2As one of the first international bureaucracies, the Permanent Mandates Commission was an unfinished bureaucracy.9 As any bureaucracy, it had the duty to produce norms (here to interpret vague principles and translate them into clear goals) and control their application by the mandatory powers. However, unlike traditional bureaucracies in the Weberian sense of the word, it did not have its own means of control, powers of investigation or sanction; it could only produce soft law, that is recommendations. Except for a small secretariat, it did not have an administration of its own. Information only came from the mandatory powers, precisely those who were supposed to be subjected to the Commission’s checks. They had to answer a questionnaire and compile the answers in a report to be presented by their own representatives (often senior civil servants in the territories concerned) and discussed by the members of the Mandates Commission during its annual session (whose minutes were made public). Consequently, the Commission could only exercise an indirect control, which could largely impede its function as supervisor of the whole system. The fact that most of the nine members (permanent representatives) of the Mandates Commission came from colonial or mandatory powers could also limit their independence and action, even though it was demanded that no permanent representative exercise a domestic function which would place them under the influence of their government. As shown by S. Pedersen and M. Callahan, however, these members were eager to gain autonomy from their home governments. They took their role as “guardians” of the system very seriously, even demanding the introduction of a more detailed questionnaire, direct means of investigation and a direct right of petition for the native populations.10 These demands unsurprisingly met with objections from the mandatory powers. Considering these limitations, supervision could only take place through a kind of peer pressure mechanism.

3As Albert Sarraut feared, this mechanism, albeit imperfect, could become a fearsome weapon and have a major impact on the legitimacy of the mandatory powers. Peer pressure by the members of the Commission or other mandatory powers could lead to unpredictable consequences. More specifically, it encouraged comparisons regarding the implementation of goals linked to the League’s principles and could force the mandatory powers to comply with said principles. As legitimacy was derived from expertise, the “experts” in charge of gathering evidence wielded tremendous power.

  • 11 Set up during the European Council of Lisbon, March 2000 as part of a strategy to increase growth (...)
  • 12 See the diverse contributions in Dehousse, 2004.
  • 13 Bruno, 2007, p. 114.
  • 14 Ibid., p. 160.

4The example of another international institution—the European Commission—gives us particularly fruitful insights into the power and role of these experts and the risks linked to this peer review mechanism as far as legitimacy is concerned. As the supra‑national institution of the EU, the European Commission is the guardian of its principles and norms. In some fields, which fall within the exclusive competence of the EU (for example agriculture and trade), it has the right to initiate hard laws (directives and regulations) by which EU Member States must abide, and to supervise their implementation (with the power to sanction the Member States in case of infringement). However, in other fields within the competence of the Member States (like education, social protection, employment and health), its power is much more limited: it can only produce norms and soft laws, through what has been called the Open Method of Coordination.11 Whether this method was influenced by previous experiences in international organizations has yet to be proven. Still, similarities with the Mandates Commission’s mechanisms can be observed. This method was set up to facilitate co‑operation among EU Member States and the convergence of their policies, as well as to encourage them to reform their national strategies in order to reach common goals: the transition towards an innovative and competitive knowledge‑based economy and society, full employment and a common European space for education and research. This was considered as the best way to attain a sustainable economic growth and the welfare of the populations. The method consists in jointly identifying and defining guidelines (adopted by the Council of the EU, representing the Member States) to be adapted to each state’s context and translated into clear objectives. It entails jointly establishing measuring instruments (statistics, indicators, guidelines) and benchmarking, i.e. comparison of the Member States’ performances and exchange of best practices. Under this method, Member States are evaluated by one another (peer pressure), with the Commission’s role being limited to surveillance and monitoring. The system is not based on binding legal constraint but on the free will of the Member States, on learning and emulation through comparison. Whether these mechanisms have been efficient in encouraging the Member States to adopt new norms and policies is still a matter of discussion.12 What is certain is that they have created a potential instrument of “surveillance” consisting in moral sanctions and meant to discipline the Member States by offering them a powerful incentive to toe the line: each one is monitored by the others and no state wants to be considered as the “dud” of the European classroom. While in theory the system was not devised to rank Member States on the basis of their performances, in practice it makes this possible.13 For Member States, the prospect of being badly ranked in the European “top ten,” a public score that political opponents and civil society could use for their own political purposes, is a strong incentive to try and fulfil their commitments. In practice, the European Commission has on a number of occasions used such rankings and comparative charts made by experts to blame some Member States and celebrate others, a tendency that has been resisted and criticised by the Member States themselves:14 as far as employment policy is concerned, for example, they refused to set up more specific goals in the same way as the mandatory powers refused the introduction of a more detailed questionnaire. Like the mechanisms of the Permanent Mandates Commission, the system forces Member States to constantly prove their efficiency in reaching common goals, which puts them in a defensive position. Likewise, it gives enormous power to the networks of experts who are expected to provide the data used for comparison and performance measurement. This has considerable consequences for the legitimacy of the EU and the Member States as political entities: the system may have been devised so that Member States and the EU increasingly had to base their legitimacy on the achievement of specific goals, but as measurement criteria are defined by experts, this can actually backfire. Experts can just as well be used to show that the expected results have not been achieved and the system can undermine the very legitimacy of the EU and the Member States, especially in a context of competition where each Member State is eager to show that it is doing better than the other. The same cycle of de‑legitimation applied for the mandates system.

  • 15 Bruno, 2007, p. 114.
  • 16 Callahan, 2004.

5Certainly, comparisons between the Permanent Mandates Commission and the European Commission cannot be pursued too far, as the two institutions are very different in size, in function and in terms of the context within which they operate. However, the mechanisms they set up have had similar effects on the Member States and the mandatory powers. The oft‑stated idea that “to get better one has to measure itself, and to be better, one has to compare itself with the other”15 has had unexpected consequences in terms of legitimacy and authority. In the case of the mandates system, comparisons could become a useful tool for emulation. They could have been used by each mandatory power to improve its performance in ruling the natives according to the League’s principles, and in some cases it certainly did.16 Conversely, they could also be used by one mandatory power to increase its legitimacy, but inevitably at the expense of others: to show that one was “more” efficient than the others in implementing certain goals, one had to show that the others were “less” efficient. They could also be used by the nascent international public opinion to criticise and question the whole system. In effect this led to a cycle of “evidence” and “counter‑evidence,” in which experts became essential weapons. In a context of permanent rivalry, stimulated by Germany and its colonial claims, the legitimacy and authority of the entire system was weakened.

“To be better one has to compare itself with the others”

  • 17 Dimier, 2004b, chapter 8.

6Comparisons featured prominently in the debates of the Mandates Commission; the mandatory powers used them to show off their compliance with the League’s principles.17 Thanks to Lord Lugard, a former Governor‑General of Nigeria (1914‑1919) and one of the most influential members of the Commission, the main principles of the League, the idea of governing for the welfare and development of the natives, soon came to be termed “indirect rule.” This was a form of government Lugard allegedly invented and experimented in Nigeria. During the Commission’s debates, Lugard and the British representatives often claimed that the United Kingdom was strictly following those principles in practice, especially in Tanganyika. In order to assess their case and increase the legitimacy of this system as well as their own legitimacy, they often resorted to comparisons with France. They praised the British system for being highly decentralised, pragmatic, following a native policy whose aim was to respect native customs as long as they were not opposed to the British conception of civilisation. Under indirect rule, efforts were reportedly made to respect the real chiefs chosen by their people and rule through them by means of persuasion, advice and education, exactly the kind of government that could educate the natives to “stand by themselves,” in the words of article 22 of the Covenant; a kind of government considered as “democratic,” insofar as it allows natives to govern through their own legitimate rulers, the native chiefs. By contrast, the French system of government was depicted as particularly centralised, unified, bureaucratic aiming at assimilating the natives and based on direct rule, namely the destruction of native customs and chiefs. Native authorities were replaced by French officers who would enforce French laws regardless of the natives’ customs and distinctive features. If these officers happened to use local chiefs, they merely appointed them on the basis of loyalty and turned them into French civil servants. In that description, the “French system” appears to be much less liberal and more authoritarian (i.e., based on force and constraint) than the British one—the exact opposite of the ideas embodied in the Covenant. As a result, the French representatives were constantly on the defensive. Their response consisted in trying to show again and again that their practices and methods were not so different from the British ones.

7These comparisons gained momentum by the mid‑1930s, when Germany began to claim its former colonies back. On both sides of the channel, governments were wondering which territories could be sacrificed for the good cause. It was easy for the British to argue that French territories like Cameroon and Togo could be given back. Indeed, according to them, France could not and did not follow the principles of the League, namely indirect rule, there. These comparisons were also used strategically by native populations airing their grievances against French rule or by competing native rulers dissatisfied with the choice made by French colonial officials to endorse other local chiefs. In 1922, one of these rival clans, helped by the Anti‑Slavery and Aborigines’ Protection Society in Great Britain, sent a letter to the Secretariat of the League and sold its case to a magazine, the Christian Science Monitor. Letters by the natives sent to the Anti‑Slavery and Aborigines’ Protection Society stated that

  • 18 Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, Service SDN, file 622, “French officials of Togoland said (...)

the Togolanders are appealing to Great Britain as their case is desperate and because of their conviction that from Britain they are more apt to receive fair play. They always have realised that their welfare would be most secure under British rule and cannot understand why they were placed under French mandate. Had they been given an opportunity to express their preferences, they certainly would have voted for British control and protection. They were greatly dissatisfied with German rule, but they are beginning to find that the French is no better.18

  • 19 Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, Service SDN, file 622, Letter from Bonnecarrère to the Fr (...)

8Referring to a campaign against French rule in Togo launched by the press in the Gold Coast, Auguste Bonnecarrère, the French high Commissioner in that country, concluded that “France is copiously insulted while the British administration is largely exempted from criticism. Accra’s government itself does not consider without satisfaction the attacks to which we are subjected.”19

  • 20 Dimier, 2006.
  • 21 Mair, 1933, p. 367.
  • 22 Mair, 1934, p. 82.
  • 23 Papers of Margery Perham, Box 229, file 9, 1935, M. Perham, “Lecture to the Institute of education (...)

9These criticisms and comparisons became even more serious because they were eventually also made by scholars having a “scientific” legitimacy, i.e., “experts.” Indeed, the debates within the Mandates Commission were accompanied by the institutionalisation of a “science of colonial administration” or “science of colonial government.”20 This science was developed by scholars who took part in the training of colonial officials in Oxford, Cambridge and the LSE (like Margery Perham, a close friend of Lugard, or Lucy Mair) or at the French colonial school (Henri Labouret; Robert Delavignette). Lucy Mair argued that the time was gone when a colonial administrator in Tropical Africa could rule through “trial and error,” with his intuition as the only guide. Colonial regimes pursuing similar strategies were now asking the same question as to the best policy to adopt regarding indigenous authorities in order to achieve certain goals. According to Mair, such questions could not “be answered by the application of general principles however humanitarian; they call for a scientific analysis of the actual situation to be dealt with, which can apply the only valid test of merits of any policy—a reasoned estimates of its results.”21 “Colonial administration, like every government activity, calls for the guidance of scientific knowledge—of a body of objective data upon which practical decisions can be based.”22 As M. Perham summarised it: “we shall all agree that time is ripe for having a scientific administrative policy.”23 The same conclusions were drawn on the French side:

  • 24 Delavignette, 1938.

Due to contact with reality, there is now […] an experimentation of colonial processes which is rich enough in terms of research and results for us to speak of methods. On important questions, there are similarities of views and a coordination of administrative experiences: there is a kind of experimental colonisation […] which analyses the ethnographic and sociological characteristics of the natives and the geographical specificities of countries, which analyses scientifically compared colonisation and which submits itself to experimentation.24

  • 25 Dimier, 2004b, chapter 2.

10According to these specialists in colonial administration, the aim of a science of colonial government was to analyse the implementation of native policy and colonial administration in their day‑to‑day workings. Methods and results of colonial administrators’ encounters with native societies had to be analysed in the different colonies. The approach had to be experimental and comparative. There is no doubt that the League of Nations, through its very mechanisms, encouraged this science: insofar as the mandatory powers had to “prove” that they were trying to achieve common goals and apply Covenant principles (including indirect rule) in their day to day government, it was necessary to analyse how and to what extent they did so in practice. All these scholars were following the mandates system very seriously and had many connections with French or British representatives within it. Although indirect rule was difficult to assess in scientific terms, they conducted fieldwork, collected facts about implementation methods in various territories, usually French and British Cameroon.25 While they visited the same territories and comparing the same things, French and British specialists in colonial administration reached different conclusions: Perham, for instance, observed many differences (the same as the ones outlined by British representatives in the Mandates Commission) where Labouret only saw nuances and emphasised the similarities between the two systems, which, he believed, were both based on indirect rule.

  • 26 The book was presented by Lugard himself at the Rhodes House, Oxford (15th October 1929). It was c (...)
  • 27 Buell, 1928.
  • 28 Ibid., pp. 248‑290.
  • 29 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, files « Étude d (...)
  • 30 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, (...)
  • 31 Labouret, 1928, p. 265.
  • 32 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, (...)
  • 33 Labouret, 1928, pp. 265‑266.
  • 34 Ibid., p. 270.
  • 35 Ibid., p. 269.
  • 36 Ibid.
  • 37 Ibid.
  • 38 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, (...)
  • 39 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Lettre de L. Pe (...)
  • 40 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre de L. Pe (...)
  • 41 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre de L. Pe (...)
  • 42 From an anonymous writer: « Un réquisitoire américain contre l’Afrique française », Dépêche coloni (...)
  • 43 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre du Gouve (...)
  • 44 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre du Commi (...)
  • 45 Rappard, representative of Switzerland, 2nd meeting, 15th session, 1 July 1929, pp. 20‑23.
  • 46 Rappard, 1929, 2nd meeting, 15th session, p. 22.
  • 47 Rappard, 1929, 2nd meeting, 15th session, p. 22.

11The strategic uses of this science and its comparative conclusions within the context of the mandates system is well exemplified by the Buell case. Raymond Leslie Buell was an eminent American Professor (at Harvard), whose book The Native Problem in Africa (1928) received much praise in British colonial circles,26 but was abundantly criticised by French officials.27 The book emphasised the authoritarian French policy of direct rule and compared it with the more liberal British policy of indirect rule.28 Having heard of this book before its publication, the French Ministry of the Colonies asked one of the best French analysts of colonial administration in the 1930s, Henri Labouret, to provide feedback.29 His comments, reproduced in a later article, were particularly harsh. He accused Buell of being “prejudiced” and called the book a “biased attack against French colonial administration.”30 He dismissed Buell’s criticisms of the “so‑called French tendencies to implement Direct Rule”31 as without grounds. Buell’s methods were also under fire. In appearance, the study undertaken by “this young scientist under the patronage of Harvard University was precise, solid and even scientific, based at first sight on the best sources.”32 But upon closer inspection, Labouret found his work not to be based on “real facts,” but “merely on impressions” and “tourist judgements.”33 This was not “science but poor journalism.”34 However, the very fact that this work was presented as scientific made it “even more dangerous,”35 as few people would check if the sources were used well and the arguments well grounded. They would “take all his arguments for granted.”36 In fact, Labouret was certain that Buell’s study aimed at “making an impression upon a misinformed foreign opinion.”37 Thus “within German and British official circles it may have a great impact and fearsome consequences.”38 Labouret’s comments were alarming enough to persuade the French Minister of the Colonies, Léon Perrier, of the “importance of this issue” and of the “bad opinion of our empire”39 that a book bearing “Harvard’s moral authority”40 would generate in the world. He contacted the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and asked him to pressure Harvard and US authorities to prevent or alter the publication.41 These efforts would fail: the book was published and elicited much criticism amongst French journalists and colonial analysts.42 Governors also clearly showed their disagreement with “Buell’s lies” and “ungrounded assertions”43 regarding the French’s inability to respect native customs, languages and chiefs. Théodore Marchand, then Commissioner for the Cameroon, noticed the “systematic inaccuracy” of Buell’s demonstration concerning the mandates, his “tales” and “bad faith.” He even came to ask the following question: “for whom does Buell work?” Was he the “spokesman of German influence,” or “English arrangements?”44 The very fact that the French Commissioner for the Cameroon felt particularly concerned by Buell’s book is quite significant. Indeed, this book was finally used in the Permanent Mandates Commission to criticise French policy in the mandates.45 Once again, French representatives dismissed it as a “biased study,” marred by prejudice and factual errors, written by somebody who had “visited the mandates too quickly.”46 Another representative, however, noted that “Buell may have lacked experience and information but he was still a scientist whose point of view could not be ignored.”47

  • 48 Pedersen, 2015, p. 323.

12While there is no proof that the British deliberately used that kind of science to undermine French legitimacy, the resulting comparisons and debates definitely casted some doubts on French capacity to rule according to the principles of the mandates system. In this process of becoming a political tool, expertise led to a dangerous path as far as the legitimacy of the mandatory powers and the Mandates Commission were concerned. As it tried to show that it was doing better than the French, the British government exposed itself to the same kind of questioning using comparisons and expertise. A case in point is Ralph Bunch’s work on French administration in Togoland and Dahomey. As part of his thesis defended in Harvard in 1934, Bunch made some comparisons between the French and the British administrations in the mandates, this time criticising British indirect rule and praising French methods that he described as less paternalistic and racist.48 At a time when indirect rule began to lose its appeal within the Permanent Mandates Commission as the best method for ruling over natives, this could have serious consequences for Britain’s legitimacy as a colonial power.

  • 49 Gordon, 2020.
  • 50 Pedersen, 2015, chapter 5.
  • 51 Guilhot, 2005.

13More generally, expertise was a double‑edged sword: it could be used by the Mandates Commission or some mandatory powers to justify themselves, to increase their authority and legitimacy. For example, anthropology was used by the South African government to justify its discrimination policy in its mandate. However, as shown by RJ Gordon, the same anthropology could just as well be used by opponents to the mandatory powers and to the mandates system as such.49 There lies the contradiction of the mandate system, which relates to the dependence of its legitimacy on expertise. Perhaps this contradiction contributed to its demise: if the Commission was going too far in its determination to supervise and control the mandatory powers through expertise, it could undermine their authority and legitimacy and by extension its own raison d’être. If it gave in to the demands of the mandatory powers and closed its eyes on inhuman treatments and mass killings—as it eventually did in the case of Syria analysed by S. Pedersen50—, it exposed itself to the criticisms of experts. By doing so, it could lose its credibility in the eyes of the emerging international public opinion and its legitimacy as an autonomous actor. But maybe this is typical of any international organizations, in so far as their legitimacy relies mainly on moral principles and expertise. As we saw here, both the Permanent Mandate Commission and later on the European Commission (for the latter, in fields where it cannot enforce laws) are deprived of rules and command mechanisms (the instruments of a standard bureaucracy). They also operate in a context where their power is regularly contested by the same states that contributed to their creation. Both institutions, to assert their role, their legitimacy and authority, have to rely heavily on peer‑review mechanisms in which expertise plays an important role. But this expertise can just as well be used by their opponents to weaken their legitimacy and authority. In absence of alternative source of legitimacy, this may leave them in a fragile position, unless they succeed, as the World Bank very efficiently does, in regularly co‑opting their opponents and their expertise.51

Bibliographie

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Fidel Camille, 1929, La Quinzaine coloniale, no 535, p. 11‑12.

Labouret Henry, 1928, « Notre politique indigène jugée par un Américain » in Afrique française, p. 265‑266.

Mair Lucy, 1933, “Colonial Administration as a Science” in Journal of African Studies, no 32, pp. 366‑371.

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Sarraut Albert, 1931, Grandeur et servitude coloniales, Sagittaire, Paris, 287 p.

Archives

Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, service SDN, file 622.

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Rappard, intervention. Official Journal of the League of Nations. Debates of the Permanent Mandate Commission. 2nd meeting, 15th session, 1 July 1929.

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Notes

1 Sarraut, 1931, pp. 120‑121.

2 This article is drawn from my thesis, which I defended in 1999, and published in book form in 2004 (Dimier, 2004). I also published several articles based on this research: Dimier, 2002, pp. 333‑360; Dimier, 2004a, pp. 279‑299; Dimier, 2002, pp. 168‑183. Before I defended my thesis, there were few works on the Mandates Commission: Austen, 1971, pp. 515‑542; Wright, 1968. Since then, several major works on the Mandates Commission have been published, including: Callahan, 1999 & 2004; Anghie, 2004; Wilde, 2008; Pedersen, 2015.

3 Dimier, 2004b.

4 For a debate around the definition of the vague term of expertise, see: Bérard & Crespin, 2010; Sarfatti, 1977; Radaelli, 1999, pp. 757‑774.

5 Leca, 1993; Dimaggio & Powell, 1991. For a case study see my book: Dimier, 2014.

6 Dimier, 2004a.

7 Dimier, 2004b.

8 Pedersen, 2015, chapter 5.

9 On international bureaucracies, see Barnett & Finnemore, 2004.

10 Callahan, 1999, p. 128; Pedersen, 2015, p. 212.

11 Set up during the European Council of Lisbon, March 2000 as part of a strategy to increase growth and durable employment in the EU. On the implementation of such mechanisms, see: Bruno, 2007; Dehousse, 2004.

12 See the diverse contributions in Dehousse, 2004.

13 Bruno, 2007, p. 114.

14 Ibid., p. 160.

15 Bruno, 2007, p. 114.

16 Callahan, 2004.

17 Dimier, 2004b, chapter 8.

18 Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, Service SDN, file 622, “French officials of Togoland said to abuse natives”; Article from the Christian Science Monitor, 19 August 1922, included in a letter from the French Minister of Colonies (Sarraut) to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 July 1922, On petitions by the Togolese, see: Callahan, 2004, p. 49; Callahan, 1999, p. 119, 128.

19 Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, Service SDN, file 622, Letter from Bonnecarrère to the French Minister of the Colonies, 31 January 1923.

20 Dimier, 2006.

21 Mair, 1933, p. 367.

22 Mair, 1934, p. 82.

23 Papers of Margery Perham, Box 229, file 9, 1935, M. Perham, “Lecture to the Institute of education on British colonial administration”, February 1917.

24 Delavignette, 1938.

25 Dimier, 2004b, chapter 2.

26 The book was presented by Lugard himself at the Rhodes House, Oxford (15th October 1929). It was considered as an excellent book by M. Perham: Perham, 1974, p. 74.

27 Buell, 1928.

28 Ibid., pp. 248‑290.

29 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, files « Étude du Professeur américain Buell relative aux colonies françaises »: lettre de Jouvenel (Sénateur, ancien ministre) à L. Perrier (ministre des Colonies), 17 mai 1927 ; lettre de L. Perrier à Jouvenel, 13 juin 1927.

30 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, « Note pour le ministre », (not dated) about Buell’s work.

31 Labouret, 1928, p. 265.

32 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, « Note pour le ministre », (not dated) about Buell’s work.

33 Labouret, 1928, pp. 265‑266.

34 Ibid., p. 270.

35 Ibid., p. 269.

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid.

38 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Labouret Henry, « Note pour le ministre » (not dated) about Buell’s work.

39 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, Lettre de L. Perrier à Jouvenel, 13 juin 1927.

40 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre de L. Perrier au ministre des Affaires Étrangères, 29 juin 1927.

41 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre de L. Perrier au ministre des Affaires étrangères, 29 juin 1927. See also: Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettres du Ministère des Affaires étrangères au ministère des Colonies, (Direction des Affaires politiques, premier bureau), du 23 août et 21 novembre 1927.

42 From an anonymous writer: « Un réquisitoire américain contre l’Afrique française », Dépêche coloniale, 15 et 16 avril 1928. Fidel, 1928, p. 457. See also: Fidel, 1929, p. 11‑12.

43 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre du Gouverneur général de l’A.E.F., Antonetti, au ministère des Colonies (Direction des Affaires politiques), 24 mai 1928.

44 Papers of the Ministry of the Colonies, Direction des Affaires politiques, Box 28, lettre du Commissaire de la République au Cameroun (Marchand) au ministère des Colonies (Direction des Affaires politiques), 12 septembre 1928.

45 Rappard, representative of Switzerland, 2nd meeting, 15th session, 1 July 1929, pp. 20‑23.

46 Rappard, 1929, 2nd meeting, 15th session, p. 22.

47 Rappard, 1929, 2nd meeting, 15th session, p. 22.

48 Pedersen, 2015, p. 323.

49 Gordon, 2020.

50 Pedersen, 2015, chapter 5.

51 Guilhot, 2005.

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