Postcolonial Security:Britain, France, and West Africa's Cold War

Wyss, M. (2021) Postcolonial Security:Britain, France, and West Africa's Cold War. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198843023

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In light of the discrepancy between Britain’s and France’s postcolonial security roles in Africa, which seemed already determined half a decade after independence, this book studies the making of the postcolonial security relationship during the transfer of power and the early years of independence (1958–1966). The focus is on West Africa and, more specifically, on Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. While it was in this subregion that the decolonization wave emerged and the Cold War made its debut in Africa, the newly independent states of Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire rapidly evolved into key players in the postcolonial struggle for Africa. Based on research in fourteen archives in Africa, Europe, and the United States, the book comparatively investigates the establishment of formal defence relations, the disintegration of the Anglo-Nigerian ‘special relationship’ and Franco-Ivorian ‘neocolonial collusion’, the provision of British and French military assistance to their former colonies and the competition they faced from West Germany and Israel respectively, and the Anglo-American partnership in Nigeria and the Franco-American rivalry in Côte d’Ivoire. Through this investigation it becomes evident that, whereas Britain was rapidly and increasingly pushed out of and replaced in the Nigerian security sector by Western competitors, France succeeded in retaining its military foothold and pre-eminence in Côte d’Ivoire. Informed by postcolonial approaches, this book argues that while London’s Cold War blinkers and Paris’s neo-imperial agenda were part of the equation, the postcolonial security relationship was ultimately determined by the Nigerian and Ivorian elites, which in turn responded to their local and regional circumstances against the background of the Cold War in Africa. © Marco Wyss 2021.

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Cited By :1 Export Date: 7 September 2022
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20 Oct 2022 14:50
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12 Oct 2023 15:20