Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Joseph M Hodge

Committee Co-Chair

Robert Maxon

Committee Member

Nicholas Githuku

Committee Member

Tamba M'bayo

Committee Member

James Siekmeier


This dissertation examines the influence of the Fabian Society on Britain's postwar colonial development regime between 1948 and 1956. This study demonstrates that a primary vehicle for the "Fabianization" of the British Empire was the Cambridge Summer Conference series, particularly the conference convened in 1948. Held on the "Encouragement of Initiative in African Society", the conference devised a policy framework of community development based on a model of mass education long-favored by Arthur Creech Jones, former chair of the Fabian Colonial Bureau (FCB) and then Secretary of State for the Colonies.;While the findings of this study attest that Fabian influence ("Fabianization") during this period produced tangible development projects that concretely impacted social welfare in the colonies, the results suggest an ambiguity surrounding the relative success of "Fabianized" development. The findings indicate that "Fabianization", dependent upon the processes of negotiation which transpired between the African communities being "developed" and the agents responsible for change, and the ability of those agents to inspire and motivate the indigenous populations, was at best partial, even in ideal circumstances.;This study demonstrates that, despite Creech Jones' appointment to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for the Colonies, severe challenges remained for the realization of Fabian-favored designs. The most intransigent of these hindrances included the sterling crisis of 1947 and that posed by inertia and resistance in the territories, which emanated from both colonial officialdom as well as the indigenous populations.