Description: In this comprehensive and original study, a distinguished specialist and scholar of African affairs argues that the current crisis in African development can be traced directly to European colonial rule, which left the continent with a “singularly difficult legacy” that is unique in modern history. Crawford Young proposes a new conception of the state, weighing the different characteristics of earlier European empires (including those of Holland, Portugal, England, and Venice) and distilling their common qualities. He then presents a concise and wide-ranging history of colonization in Africa, from the era of construction through consolidation and decolonization. Young argues that several qualities combined to make the European colonial experience in Africa distinctive. The high number of nations competing for power around the continent and the necessity to achieve effective occupation swiftly, yet make the colonies self-financing, drove colonial powers toward policies of “ruthless extractive action.” The persistent, virulent racism that established a distance between rulers and subjects was especially central to African colonial history. Young concludes by turning his sights to other regions of the once-colonized world, comparing the fates of former African colonies to their counterparts elsewhere. In tracing both the overarching traits and variations in African colonial states, he makes a strong case that colonialism has played a significant part in shaping the fate of this troubled continent.
Description: A revealing account of how Israel’s booming arms industry and apartheid South Africa’s international isolation led to a secretive military partnership between two seemingly unlikely allies.
Prior to the Six-Day War, Israel was a darling of the international left: socialist idealists like David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir vocally opposed apartheid and built alliances with black leaders in newly independent African nations. South Africa, for its part, was controlled by a regime of Afrikaner nationalists who had enthusiastically supported Hitler during World War II.
But after Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, the country found itself estranged from former allies and threatened anew by old enemies. As both states became international pariahs, their covert military relationship blossomed: they exchanged billions of dollars’ worth of extremely sensitive material, including nuclear technology, boosting Israel’s sagging economy and strengthening the beleaguered apartheid regime.
By the time the right-wing Likud Party came to power in 1977, Israel had all but abandoned the moralism of its founders in favor of close and lucrative ties with South Africa. For nearly twenty years, Israel denied these ties, claiming that it opposed apartheid on moral and religious grounds even as it secretly supplied the arsenal of a white supremacist government.
Sasha Polakow-Suransky reveals the previously classified details of countless arms deals conducted behind the backs of Israel’s own diplomatic corps and in violation of a United Nations arms embargo. Based on extensive archival research and exclusive interviews with former generals and high-level government officials in both countries, The Unspoken Alliance tells a troubling story of Cold War paranoia, moral compromises, and Israel’s estrangement from the left. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Israel’s history and its future.
Description: In a period of vast global restructuring, unrestricted capital has eroded the traditional distinctions between nations and nationhood. In The Politics of Postcolonialism, Rumina Sethi devises a new form of postcolonial studies that makes sense of these dramatic changes. Returning to the origins of the discipline, Sethi identifies it as a tool for political protest and activism among people of the third world. Using a sophisticated mix of spatial theory and local politics, she examines the uneven terrain of contemporary anti-capitalism and political upsurges in Africa, Asia and Latin America, emphasising postcolonial politics, dissent and resistance. Her analysis shows that as the traditional means of direct political control have largely lost their hold, postcolonial cultures, now dominated by neoliberalism, are seeking fresh ways to express their discontent. This original and persuasive work frees the discipline from its current preoccupation with hybridity and multiculturalism, giving students of politics, cultural studies and international relations a new perspective on postcolonialism.