By Christopher Clapham
African independence embarked on overseas politics a gaggle of the world's poorest, weakest and such a lot man made states. How have such states controlled to outlive? To what quantity is their survival now threatened? Christopher Clapham exhibits how an at the start supportive overseas 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 by means of rulers to reinforce their household regulate, and the way African states were undermined by means of guerrilla insurgencies and using diplomacy to serve basically deepest ends.
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Additional resources for Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival
They almost certainly had personal goals, such as glory or perhaps merely selfenrichment. But all of these depended on their ability to keep themselves going through the effective management of their external as well as their domestic environment. This was what foreign policy in African (and indeed in most other) states was basically about. For so long as statehood remained an important asset in bargaining with the international system, rulers could be expected to seek to consolidate the power of their own states, along with their own control over them.
Both revolutionary and nationalist movements provide a host of examples. In the case of African nationalist movements, which often progressed from foundation to full independence within a single decade, this effect was especially marked. Almost all of them were identified with a leader who acquired immense prestige, and whose right to make policy on behalf of the movement was virtually unchallenged. Though there were, as will be argued, good structural reasons for the personalisation of foreign policy-making in fragile and newly independent states, this tendency was also inherent in the nationalist movements themselves.
On the other hand, the power which these leaders exercised came to depend, as the discussion in the previous section has suggested, as much on the international system as on the support which they were able to derive from the people of the states which they governed. That the structures through which political power is exercised must ultimately achieve some kind of congruence with the structures of economic production is not mere Marxist dogma, but an enduring fact about political life, internationally as well as within individual states.
Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival by Christopher Clapham