Africa and the International System: The Politics of State - download pdf or read online

By Christopher Clapham

ISBN-10: 0511549822

ISBN-13: 9780511549823

ISBN-10: 052157207X

ISBN-13: 9780521572071

ISBN-10: 0521576687

ISBN-13: 9780521576680

African independence embarked on foreign politics a bunch of the world's poorest, weakest and so much man made states. How have such states controlled to outlive? To what quantity is their survival now threatened? Christopher Clapham exhibits how an first and foremost supportive overseas surroundings has turn into more and more threatening to African rulers and the states over which they preside. the writer unearths how overseas conventions designed to uphold kingdom sovereignty have frequently been appropriated and subverted through rulers to augment their family keep an eye on, and the way African states were undermined by means of guerrilla insurgencies and using diplomacy to serve basically inner most ends.

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In this case, the nationalist movements established their foreign policies before independence, in the search for diplomatic support and military aid, and the legacies of these policies continued into the independence period - most dangerously in Angola, where the rivalry between different would-be nationalist movements, each with its own external alliances, carried through into a civil war which was still raging nearly two decades after independence in 1975. The major difference between British overdevolution and Portuguese non-devolution was that the British model created the structure for an indigenous state which a ruling African elite could subsequently take over, whereas the Portuguese model left very little behind indeed.

So far from rejecting the basis of colonial statehood, they adopted and indeed glorified it, turning it into the foundation for a 'nationalism' which was presented as authentically African, and which simultaneously redefined pre-colonial identities and political structures as the source of a divisive and illegitimate 'tribalism'. These 'nationalist' leaders varied in their commitment to sub-national political identities on the one hand, and to supra-national identities on the other. Quite a number of them, most evidently in Nigeria, drew on regional bases for electoral support which were implicitly or explicitly defined in terms of a sub-national ethnicity.

Once independence was achieved in June I960, the whole structure of statehood almost immediately collapsed, prompting the attempted secession of the mineral-producing Katanga region, Belgian military intervention, and a desperate appeal by the new government to the United Nations for the troops that were needed to maintain basic order and the integrity of the state. This crisis traumatised the continent in the year in which the largest number of its states became independent. If the failures of French and Belgian decolonisation sprang from the overcentralisation of colonial rule, those of the British derived, rather, from excessive devolution.

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Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival by Christopher Clapham


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