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Spaces of Negotiation

European Settlers and Settlement in German East Africa 1900-1914

Philippa Söldenwagner

European settlement in German East Africa was neither outrightly rejected nor wholeheartedly embraced by colonial policy-makers. Taking this fundamental characteristic of colonial rule in German East Africa as a starting point, Spaces of Negotiation examines the effects of shifting policies on the practice and experience of European settlement between 1900 and 1914. Arguing that spaces of negotiation opened up between Africans and Europeans, which would not have existed in a more definite settlement process, Philippa Söldenwagner explores the settlers’ existence from an anthropological perspective. The focus is on the level of people’s ideas and patterns of behaviour and on the day-to-day interactions involved in the process of settlement: from immigration and the appropriation of land to the various ways of making a living and the emergence of social structures. The example of German East Africa shows the multisided character of colonization and sheds new light on the room for manoeuvre and its limits to both colonizers and colonized.