Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Imperial excess: Corruption and decadence in Portuguese India (1660–1706)
by Chaturvedula, Nandini, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2010, 309; 3400632
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines corruption in the context of the Portuguese presence in India in the late seventeenth century. I argue that corruption had multiple meanings and that the numerous manifestations of corruption (administrative, economic, political, spiritual, or moral) were intertwined and, therefore, inseparable from dominant moral and religious ideas of the era. Instead of providing a purely functional perspective, I believe corruption must be studied from a social and cultural perspective in order to fully comprehend Portuguese mentalities in relation to the concept. In this time period, corruption was also linked to broader notions of the decline of the Estado da India and Portuguese colonial failures were attributed to the moral corruption of the Portuguese in India. Thus, this dissertation also considers decline and the way they it fit into Portuguese perceptions of corruption. My analysis of corruption also opens up a space in which to view the opposing agendas of particular groups within the colony and allows us to better comprehend the complex relationships between the crown, the colonial administration, and social groups in Portuguese India.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dirks, Nicholas
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: History, Modern history
Keywords: Colonialism, Corruption, Decadence, Decline, Early modern Europe, GDA, India, Portuguese India
Publication Number: 3400632
ISBN: 9781109673180
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