Véronique Dimier

Véronique Dimier is professor of political science at the Free University of Brussels. She has been formerly Deakin and Marie Curie fellow at St Antony's college, Oxford, Fulbright Fellow at NYU university, Braudel Fellow at the European Institute (Firenze) and the holder of the price and chaire Gutenberg, University of Strasbourg (SAGE). She got her Phd at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Grenoble in 1999 (The institutionnalisation of a science of colonial government in France and Britain, between the 1930s and 1950s). Her Phd dissertation was published in 2004: Le gouvernement des colonies, regards croisés franco-britannique, Presses Universitaire de Bruxelles, 2004. This dissertation deals with the Indirect Rule vs Direct rule controversy among French and British experts in colonial administration from the 1930s on. It shows how this controversy was part of the institutionalisation of a science of colonial government in France and Britain, a science which rested on comparisons. It also analyses the political stakes behind these comparisons and scientific controversy, most notably within the Permanent Mandate Commission. Since 1999 Véronique Dimier has been working on several topics like the debate about French citizenship at decolonization and beyond. She also started a long term research on the role of ex French colonial officials in designing and implementing and an EU development aid bureaucracy. This led to several articles and a second book: The invention of a European Development Aid Bureaucracy, Palgrave, 2014, a book which was presented recently at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Sorbonne, the European University Institute in Firenze, New York and Columbia Universities. The last two years she has been working on Businesses, decolonization and development. She is teaching African politics, EU development policies and international public policies and global health governance.

 Gutenberg Project: Business, decolonisation and development.

Many scholars have emphasised the continuity between colonial and post colonial states and politics. So far however few studies exist on the continuity of  businesses, i.e. the role played by companies of the former colonial states in the economy and development policies of the newly independant countries as well as in the economy and politics of the former colonial powers. Also, the question we will ask will be: what strategies did the compagnies of France, Britain, Belgium (be private or state-own) adopt to maintain their influence in former French, British and Belgium colonies and/or what strategies did companies from other countries adopt to get new markets and opportunities in the newly independant states, especially in Africa. To answer this question, we will focus on networks between these companies, the elite in power in those states and the personnel of former colonial powers or other European states.

Outcome of this project:

Workshops/panel/conference  organised:

Workshop: Business, decolonization, development, IEP Strasbourg, SAGE, 12 novembre 2015.

Panel: Business, decolonization, development, African Studies Associaion of the UK, bienial conference, 6-7 septembre 2016.

Conference: business, decolonization, development, IEP Strasbourg, SAGE, 13-14 octobre 2016.

 Articles /chapters in book :

  • ‘The business of Eurafrica: the European Development fund between the European Commission, the Member States and European firms’, Journal of European Integration History, 2018, p. 187-209.
  • With G. Gliottone: ‘Eurafrica reconsidered: Europe and African leaders in historical perspectives’  in R. Marchetti (ed.), Africa-Europe relationships, a multistakeholder perspective, Routledge, 2020, p. 127-139.
  • ‘The European Development Fund: a dowry for French companies’, in : Dimier, Stockwell  (ed.): The business of development in post-colonial Africa, Palgrave,in progress, due in January 2021.

 Edited Book :

  • With Sarah Stockwell : The business of development in post-colonial Africa, Palgrave,in progress, due in January 2021.

Papers in conferences :

  • ‘Running for contracts : the EDF between the Member States, the ACP States and the European Commission’ in  conference : Origins, implementation and funding of European policies, University of Lisbon, 8 may 2017.
  • ‘Technical assistance as imperialism ?  The case of the European development fund’, in World Economic History Congress, Boston, (panel organised by S. Stockwell and Ichiro Maekawa), July 2018.
  • ‘Dangerous liaisons: EEC development policy, African leaders and NGOs’, conference organised by P. Cullen, Care for the future, University of Exeter, London, 15 September 2019.