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Africa and the Cold War - Term 1 Week 4

Searching for alternatives: Bandung, pan-Africanism, and non-alignment

The Cold War was more than a zero-sum, bipolar game. Many thinkers in the decolonising world sought a different future from the competing models of modernity offered by the superpowers. At Bandung in 1955, leaders from across Africa and Asia came together to condemn imperialism in any manifestation. Later, the Non-Aligned Movement explicitly challenged the Cold War order. Pan-Africanism and pan-Arabism offered alternatives to the nation-state, designed to empower former colonised peoples through unity. Ultimately, these initiatives failed to fulfil their heady goals. But this search for alternatives - and its legacies - shines a different light on the story of decolonisation, foregrounding the agency of Africans.

Class/Essay questions

1. ‘For Africa, Bandung was a missed opportunity.’ Discuss.
2. To what extent was the Non-Aligned movement an attempt to remain outside the Cold War?
3. What motivated Kwame Nkrumah’s pan-Africanist project?
4. How successful were Africa’s newly independent states in retaining non-aligned status?

Class readings

Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 97-109 [e-book].
Jeffrey James Byrne, 'Beyond Continents, Colours, and the Cold War: Yugoslavia, Algeria, and the Struggle for Non-Alignment', International History Review, 37 (2015), 912-32.
Frank Gerits, '"When the Bull Elephants Fight: Kwame Nkrumah, Non-Alignment, and Pan-Africanism as an Interventionist Ideology in the Global Cold War (1957-66)’, International History Review, 37 (2015), 951-69.

Primary Source: Kwame Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom: A Statement of African Ideology (New York: Praeger, 1961), ix-xii, available from: https://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/nkrumah/1961/speak-freedom.htm

General readings

Sandra Bott, Jussi Hanhimäki & Marco Wyss, “Non-Alignment, the Third Force, or Fence-Sitting: Independent Pathways in the Cold War”, The International History Review, 37 (2015)

Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New York: The New Press, 2007).

The Bandung Conference and Afro-Asian solidarity

Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘The Legacies of Bandung: Decolonization and the Politics of Culture’, in Christopher J. Lee (ed.), Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and its Political Afterlives (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010), 45-68 [e-book].

Eric Gettig, '”Trouble ahead in Afro-Asia”: The United States, the Second Bandung Conference, and the Struggle for the Third World, 1964-1965’, Diplomatic History, 39 (2015), 126-56.

Joseph Hongoh, ‘The Asia-Africa Conference (Bandung) and Pan-Africanism: The Challenge of Reconciling Continental Solidarity with National Sovereignty’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 70 (2016), 374-90.

Christopher J. Lee, ‘Between a Moment and an Era: Origins and Afterlives of Bandung’, in Christopher J. Lee (ed.), Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and its Political Afterlives (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010), 1-44 [e-book].

Gerard McCann, ‘From Diaspora to Third Worldism and the United Nations: India and the Politics of Decolonizing Africa’, Past and Present, supplement 8 (2013), 258-80.

See Seng Tang and Amitav Acharya (eds), Bandung Revisited: The Legacy of the 1955 Asian-African Conference for the International Order (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2008).

Heloise Weber and Poppy Winanti, ‘The “Bandung Spirit” and Solidarist Internationalism’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 70 (2016), 391-406.

Pan-Africanism

Hakim Adi, Africans in Britain, 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1998).

Ama Biney, The Political and Social Thought of Kwame Nkrumah (London, 2011)
Jean Allman, ‘Kwame Nkrumah, African Studies and the Politics of Knowledge Production in the Black Star of Africa’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, xivi, no. 2 (2013)
Jean Allman, ‘Nuclear Imperialism and the Pan-African Struggle for Peace and Freedom: Ghana, 1959-1962’, Souls, x, no. 2 (2008)
J.S. Ahlman, ‘Road to Ghana: Nkrumah, Southern Africa and the Eclipse of a Decolonizing Africa’, Kronos, xxxvii, no. 1 (2011)

S. K. B. Asante and David Chanaiwa, ‘Pan-Africanism and Regional Integration’, in Ali A. Mazrui (ed.), UNESCO General History of Africa, vol. 8: Africa since 1935 (Oxford: Heinemann, 1983), 724-43.

*George B. N. Ayittey, 'The United States of Africa: A Revisit', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 632 (2010), 86-102.

Immanuel Geiss, The Pan-African Movement (London: Methuen, 1974).

Frank Gerits, '"When the Bull Elephants Fight: Kwame Nkrumah, Non-Alignment, and Pan-Africanism as an Interventionist Ideology in the Global Cold War (1957-66)’, International History Review, 37 (2015), 951-69.

Leslie James, George Padmore and Decolonization from Below: Pan-Africanism, the Cold War, and the End of Empire (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) [e-book].

Julius K. Nyerere, 'A United States of Africa', Journal of Modern African Studies, 1 (1963), 1-6.

George Padmore, The History of the Pan-African Congress (London: Hammersmith Books, 1963).

Mélanie Torrent, 'A "New" Commonwealth for Britain? Negotiating Ghana's Pan-African and Asian Connections at the End of Empire (1951-8)', International History Review, 38 (2016), 573-613.

Non-alignment

Roy Allison, The Soviet Union and the Strategy of Non-Alignment in the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) [e-book].

Jeffrey James Byrne, 'Beyond Continents, Colours, and the Cold War: Yugoslavia, Algeria, and the Struggle for Non-Alignment', International History Review, 37 (2015), 912-32.

Jeffrey James Byrne, Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) [e-book].

Andy DeRoche, 'Non-Alignment on the Racial Frontier: Zambia and the USA, 1964-68', Cold War History, 7 (2007), 227-50.

Ann Lane, ‘Third World Neutralism and British Cold War Strategy, 1960-62’, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 14 (2003), 151-74.

Priya Lal, 'African Socialism and the Limits of Global Familyhood: Tanzania and the New International Economic Order in Sub-Saharan Africa', Humanity, 6 (2015), 17-31.


*Mark Atwood Lawrence, 'The Rise and Fall of Non-Alignment', in Robert J. McMahon (ed.), The Cold War in the Third World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 139-55.


Lorenz Luthi, 'The Non-Aligned Movement and the Cold War, 1961-1973', Journal of Cold War Studies, 18 (2016), 98-147.

Lorenz Luthi, 'Non-Alignment, 1946-1965: Its Establishment and Struggle against Afro-Asianism', Humanity, 7 (2016), 201-23.

Philip E. Muehlenbeck, ‘Kennedy and Touré: A Success in Personal Diplomacy’, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 19 (2008), 69-95.

Philip E. Muehlenbeck, Betting on the Africans: John F. Kennedy’s Courting of African Nationalist Leaders (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Thomas J. Noer, ‘The New Frontier and African Neutralism: Kennedy, Nkrumah and the Volta River Project’, Diplomatic History, 8 (1984), 61-79.

Robert B. Rakove, Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) [e-book]. [see also the H-1960s exchange between Rakove and Simon Stevens]

Robert B. Rakove, 'The Rise and Fall of Non-Aligned Mediation, 1961-6', International History Review, 37 (2015), 991-1013.