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

By Christopher Clapham

African independence embarked on foreign politics a gaggle of the world's poorest, weakest and so much synthetic states. How have such states controlled to outlive? To what volume is their survival now threatened? Christopher Clapham exhibits how an before everything 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 nation sovereignty have usually been appropriated and subverted by means of rulers to augment their household keep an eye on, and the way African states were undermined by means of guerrilla insurgencies and using diplomacy to serve primarily deepest ends.

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Governments had to engage in a complex bargaining process, in which they sought to 'buy' external support by 'selling' what they had to offer, in terms of diplomatic clientage, strategic location, economic opportunity, or whatever else was available. 20 Fragile states and the international system The weaker the internal legitimacy of the state, the greater was its external dependence, and the greater likewise was the price that the domestic regime had to pay for its external support. This in turn exacerbated the relationship between the government and the people whom it ruled.

The most obvious of these was university education, normally though not always in the colonial metropole, which helped to endow Africans with the breadth of vision, the self-confidence, and the technical skills which were needed in order to lead the opposition to colonial rule and manage the independent state thereafter. Territorial political leaders within the French colonies gained the much more intensive political training and range of international contacts provided by election to the National Assembly in Paris.

The colonial authorities, too, generally acted in such a way as to maintain the external linkages which they had established. As already noted, the resources which these had been prepared to devote to the maintenance of their African empires were generally small, and once their rule came to be challenged, they did not (apart from Portugal, and the South African administration in Namibia) think it worth increasing the stakes and costs to the level that would have been required to cling on by force.

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