Africa After the Cold War

Keith Somerville

in The Third World Beyond the Cold War

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780198295518
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599217 | DOI:
 Africa After the Cold War

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The end of the cold war removed what Acharya (in Ch. 4) has called a 'structural element in the international framework facing the developing countries’, i.e. the global competition between the superpowers and the consequent search for allies/proxies in the developing world. But the end of competition meant a decisive change in Western policy towards developing countries, particularly the poorest of the poor in Africa: they could no longer expect to be able to use their strategic position, mineral resources, or political support in regional conflicts as bargaining chips with the superpowers. Against the background of these structural changes the effects are examined of the end of the cold war on three specific areas, which profoundly effect Africa's current political, economic, and social development: (1) the international environment within which African states operate; (2) the effects of structural change in this environment on the evolution of African political systems; and (3) the consequences of the changes for continental and regional security and the prevention or solution of regional conflicts.

Keywords: Africa; cold war; conflict; developing countries; economic growth; global competition; political change; political systems; poverty; security; social change; social development; structural change

Chapter.  15937 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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