Sir Philip Mitchell and the Indian Ocean, 1944–49

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the strategic initiatives that Sir Philip Mitchell, governor of Kenya, brought to Great Britain’s Indian Ocean imperial and diplomatic policy in the years following the Second World War. Seeking to give strategic shape to his own coastal Islamic sympathies, Mitchell encroached on high-level policy debates with a proposal to reorganise Britain’s Western Indian Ocean around a political directorate to administer the coastal zones from Aden to Tanganyika. Such a cadre, Mitchell argued, would provide a valuable defensive bulwark against nationalist agitation and a ‘civilised’ foundation for local government initiatives. This paper brings together biography, strategic policy and area studies to demonstrate how Africa’s decolonisation shaped and limited the strategic options for Britain’s post-war Indian Ocean policy. Mitchell’s proposal broached a fascinating debate concerning the Indian Ocean as a realm of historical experience and future political construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1025
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017

Fingerprint

Indian Ocean
marine policy
decolonization
cadre
sympathy
Tanzania
Kenya
local government
coastal zone
policy
experience
Coast

Keywords

  • biography
  • Decolonisation
  • Indian Ocean
  • Kenya
  • sovereignty
  • strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Sir Philip Mitchell and the Indian Ocean, 1944–49. / Brennan, James Robert.

In: Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 45, No. 6, 02.11.2017, p. 998-1025.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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