It was the cultural, economic and political process through which colonies broke free from the colonial empires and integrated themselves to the new ‘world order’.
- Colonial empires were generally founded on principles of Racism and ‘right to rule’ over ‘inferior races’. These narratives had to be challenged. An image of benevolent and modernising influence was used as a pretext for colonial exploitation.
- However, this was later broken. (Eg: Indian National Congress popularised the theory of drain of wealth to demolish the claim of the civilising influence of British Raj).
- Newly freed states had to be allowed to follow an independent foreign policy. They had to raise resources and build stable institutions (Eg: An Army subject to strict civilian control).
- Representative and democratic institutions needed to be built. This needed an enlightened citizenry and an empowered leadership.
- The old European powers sought to exert influence in newly independent trades through biased trade policies. This came to be known as Neo-Colonialism. Most of the investment in these countries came from the erstwhile colonizers. So they were able to control new governments through lobbying and other informal (often corrupt) means.
- Colonial powers were technologically advanced. So they used it as a leverage in directing foreign investment and hence controlling the new states.
- They sought to guard their technological supremacy through tight Intellectual property regimes.