This chapter introduces the scope of the arguments raised in the book’s study of business, race, and politics in India. This study argues that expatriate business in some colonies had a much greater impact on the nature of social and political relationships within formal empire, and ultimately on the stability of the empire itself, than has been recognised. It explores the relationship between enterprise and empire through an investigation of the British managing agency houses of India. This chapter holds that the division between the attitudes of business and those of the state on the issue of race is evident in colonial societies, but has not been analysed. Therefore, it suggests the analysis of the internal dynamics of colonial societies, and the way in which they reflect metropolitan values and conceptions of status in order to understand the construction and stability of imperial political and social systems.
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