This paper shifts the axis of analysis of imperialism and argues that the classic ‘divide and rule’ policy was implemented in a horizontal and vertical dimension simultaneously. By theorising Georg Simmel’s classic triadic configurations, this paper explores whether in the British imperial strategy a divisive mechanism was set up within which inter-communal problems were exploited or an advantage was gained simply by being a tertius gaudens, i.e. a rejoicing third. This paper argues that the British Empire deliberately introduced a ‘divide and rule’ structure in order to gain an advantage in existing or emerging hostilities between the local communities.
- Divide and Rule
- Path Dependency