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

By Christopher Clapham

African independence embarked on overseas politics a gaggle 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 indicates how an first and foremost supportive foreign surroundings has turn into more and more threatening to African rulers and the states over which they preside. the writer finds how foreign conventions designed to uphold nation sovereignty have usually been appropriated and subverted via rulers to augment their family keep watch over, 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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An examination of the forms which this struggle took, over the thirty-five years or so after the achievement of political independence, provides the subject matter of this book. 27 The creation of an African international order People and government in Africa In seeking to understand the international relations of Africa, it is helpful to start by looking at a map of the continent on which state boundaries do not appear, and which is coloured, not in a patchwork of blocks demarcating the formal territories of individual states, but in shades which correspond to population density and forms of economic activity, and to the patterns of altitude, rainfall and vegetation on which human life largely depends.

Others, most obviously Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, pressed at least rhetorically for an African unity which would bridge over the divisions established by colonialism and eventually lead to the establishment of a United States of Africa. In some parts of the continent, notably French West and Equatorial Africa but also 35 African states and global politics British East and Central Africa, inter-territorial arrangements linked neighbouring colonies under the control of the same colonial power. 15 The nationalist leaders themselves were usually perfectly equipped to play the bridging role between domestic and international politics which the structure of their states thrust on them.

Not only were stateless competitors, and especially insurgent movements, able to improve their relative access to international resources, but even those who controlled states found it advantageous, on occasion, to operate in part outside the structures of formal statehood, and to undermine the very states which they 23 African states and global politics governed. These shifts will in turn be examined in the latter part of this book. Globalisation and sovereign statehood The world in which quasi-states operate continues to change.

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