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The Franco-Mauritian Elite

The Franco-Mauritian Elite

Tijo Salverda, a Dutch anthropologist, was recently in Mauritius to discuss the publication of his recent book.

He is a Research Fellow at the University of Cologne’s Global South Studies Center and a Research Associate of the University of Pretoria’s Human Economy Programme. His research interests include elites, power, and global investment chains.  He wrote his PhD on the Franco-Mauritians, whom he describes as ‘the while elite of the island of Mauritius.’ Tijo further explains, “Studying elites from an anthropological perspective offers many insights that may help us to better grasp the current realities. Knowledge about social relationships, behaviour of the powerful and the influence of cultural patterns on professional behaviour could be extrapolated to different settings, such as business and political settings. While it can also be beneficial to the analysis of geopolitical developments and international relations.’

Salverda Tijo

The book, the cover of which shows a placard attached to the statue of Adrien d’Epinay in the Company Garden, Port Louis, claims that “Mauritian independence in 1968 marked the end of a regime favorable to the Franco-Mauritians, the island’s white colonial elite. Now, in postcolonial Mauritius, this group is faced with a much more diverse power constellation and often feels in competition with others vying for their privileges. Though this is a clear departure from the colonial heydays, Franco-Mauritians have been able to continue their elite position into the early twenty-first century. This book focuses on the power of white elites still lingering on in postcolonial realities, and with regards to elites and power in general, addresses anew how an elite group aims to prolong its position over time.”

To download an article by Tijo Salverda on the Franco-Mauritians, click on this link


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