By Christopher Clapham
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 volume is their survival now threatened? Christopher Clapham indicates how an in the beginning supportive overseas surroundings has turn into more and more threatening to African rulers and the states over which they preside. the writer finds how overseas conventions designed to uphold kingdom sovereignty have usually 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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Extra info for Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival
In place of the relatively meagre revenues that could be extracted by indigenous pre-colonial rulers from passing caravans or slave-traders, the colonial state could organise the thoroughgoing incorporation of their new territories into global markets, by bringing in metropolitan companies to exploit local mineral resources, or more often by encouraging (or forcing) their subjects to produce tropical crops for export. External trade thus became not merely a relatively minor adjunct to local subsistence production, but in many areas led to a radical shift in the basic structure of the economy.
Maintenance of that sovereignty, and the privileged position which it bestowed on those who managed states, was a constant struggle, success in which depended in part on the skill with which political elites were able to manage the relationships 26 Fragile states and the international system between their domestic and external environments, in part on developments in a global system in which their power was negligible. 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.
Despite establishing (after an initial period of ruthless exploitation), a model if paternalist system of colonial rule, the Belgians did nothing to create the political conditions conducive to a transfer of power. The provision of primary education, which fostered demands for independence, was exceptionally high, whereas the creation of an indigenous university-educated elite, necessary to produce the leadership required to channel those demands into a manageable political order, was virtually non-existent; nor were there any effective means through which Africans in different parts of the 38 The creation of an African international order vast and roadless territory could establish the contacts with one another which might have led to a sense of common identity.