Collaborators and Empire
The term “collaborator” when associated with empire has come to mean someone from a subordinated or conquered society who traitorously supports the dominating enemy state instead of resisting it. This meaning has only been in use from World War II onward, originally referring to collaborators with Nazi-led Germany, Fascist-led Italy, or imperial Japan. But practices now called collaboration have occurred within every empire in history: in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and in land and overseas colonial empires. Over time, the roles of collaborators have varied by gender, class, and race, and in different imperial contexts. The motivations of collaborators have ranged from willing to coerced. Even among slaves and indentured laborers there are collaborators. The attitudes of imperial elites and of people from the collaborators’ own community toward them often conflict. Particular types of collaborators include “Fifth Columnists” and “Comprador Bourgeoisie,” originally used in Spain and Asia respectively.
Fisher, Michael H. "Collaborators and Empire." In The Encyclopedia of Empire, edited by John Mackenzie. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
Africa, Asia, Decolonization, Europe, Gender history, Imperial history, Imperialism and conquest, Slavery