Monash University
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An Incoherent Empire: Environment, imperial networks, and administrative disorder in British Malaya, 1786-1930s

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posted on 2019-12-19, 01:28 authored by JOANNA WEN CHING LEE
Many environmental histories of British Malaya have focused on the economic activities of rubber planting and tin mining, as well as their effects. In this thesis, however, I move away from these concerns to instead study how British colonial officials interacted with and perceived British Malaya's environment, c.1786-1930s. Doing so, I demonstrate how the colonial administration of British Malaya was more haphazard and disorderly than previously implied. In particular, I argue that this prevailing sense of administrative incoherence was facilitated by dysfunctional imperial networks and the presence of multiple, contradictory colonial projects.


Principal supervisor

Ruth Morgan

Additional supervisor 1

Susie Protschky

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts