Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2022
Chapter 3 shows that the ICI ousted indigenous experts and administrators by sending allegedly well-prepared and well-resourced Europeans to the colonies. Using comparison to determine a best practice of colonial administration, ICI members reformed the training schools for European administrators. However, misinterpretations often characterized their comparisons. Stereotype and archetype-comparisons gave rise to the idea that the Dutch Indies was the most professional and rational empire, while prototype-comparisons disproved this idea. According to the Dutch model, administrators should be specialists in native culture, resistant to the tropical climate, and rule independently of the “unprofessional” bureaucracy in the mother country. In reality, ICI members evoked an idealized Dutch stereotype to impose their interests of increasing salaries, health insurance benefits, and old-age pensions for their careers. While ICI members also co-opted indigenous expert-administrators, they excluded them from these benefits. Around 1914, the number of European employees had doubled in many colonies and they ousted indigenous experts. Non-Europeans hitherto complained to lack “the prospect of advancing through eagerness and seniority.” Indeed, the ICI favored internationalization of colonial staff over indigenization and thus belied its own principles of indirect rule.