A Ohio University Press Book
“Why is this book a ‘must read’? In my view, it is because (Schmidt) manages to bring together a massive amount of information across a highly diverse socioeconomic and political landscape, organize it around a very persuasive set of propositions, and present it in a highly readable and compelling way.”
Larry A. Swatuk, African Studies Review
“A counterweight to the often shallow perspectives on African events and affairs as communicated by broadcast and print media, which tend to be overly descriptive, short on evidence, and divorced from historical context. Libraries, be they local public institutions or at major research universities, would be well advised to include this title in their collections.”
Jonathan T. Reynolds, American Historical Review
“[A] well-organized, easy-to-read survey of a very complicated field of literature … clear and succinct presentation of major factors driving foreign intervention….it is refreshing to have a textbook on the market that is clearly designed for teaching undergraduates.”
Jeremy M. Rich, H-Africa
“Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War should become the quintessential building block for future conceptual, theoretical, and empirical explorations of international affairs in and with Africa.”
A. Carl LeVan, H-Diplo Roundtable, 2 March 2020
In Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War—interdisciplinary in approach and intended for nonspecialists—Elizabeth Schmidt provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa, its purposes, and its consequences. She focuses on the quarter century following the Cold War (1991–2017), when neighboring states and subregional, regional, and global organizations and networks joined extracontinental powers in support of diverse forces in the war-making and peace-building processes. During this period, two rationales were used to justify intervention: a response to instability, with the corollary of responsibility to protect, and the war on terror.
Often overlooked in discussions of poverty and violence in Africa is the fact that many of the challenges facing the continent today are rooted in colonial political and economic practices, in Cold War alliances, and in attempts by outsiders to influence African political and economic systems during the decolonization and postindependence periods. Although conflicts in Africa emerged from local issues, external political and military interventions altered their dynamics and rendered them more lethal. Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War counters oversimplification and distortions and offers a new continentwide perspective, illuminated by trenchant case studies.
Elizabeth Schmidt is professor emeritus of history at Loyola University Maryland. Her previous books include Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror; Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958; Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939–1958; Peasants, Traders, and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbabwe, 1870–1939; and Decoding Corporate Camouflage: U.S. Business Support for Apartheid. More info →
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In September 1958, Guinea claimed its independence, rejecting a constitution that would have relegated it to junior partnership in the French Community. In all the French empire, Guinea was the only territory to vote “No.” Orchestrating the “No” vote was the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), an alliance of political parties with affiliates in French West and Equatorial Africa and the United Nations trusts of Togo and Cameroon.
“Africa is no more prone to violent conflicts than other regions. Indeed, Africa’s share of the more than 180 million people who died from conflicts and atrocities in the twentieth century is relatively modest.… This is not to underestimate the immense impact of violent conflicts on Africa; it is merely to emphasize the need for more balanced debate and commentary.”
“These two volumes clearly demonstrate the efforts by a wide range of African scholars to explain the roots, routes, regimes and resolution of African conflicts and how to re-build post-conflict societies. They offer sober and serious analyses, eschewing the sensationalism of the western media and the sophistry of some of the scholars in the global North for whom African conflicts are at worst a distraction and at best a confirmation of their pet racist and petty universalist theories.”
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