Communism in Africa

Allison Drew

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism

Published in print January 2014 | ISBN: 9780199602056
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Communism in Africa

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  • Social and Cultural History
  • African History



Communism in Africa can be analyzed along two dimensions: Communist movements that generally developed between the two world wars and were subjected to state repression and communism as a post-colonial state policy. During the colonial era communists built alliances with democratic and anti-colonial movements; any success reflected their ability to forge links with trade unions and nationalist organizations. Following independence, many new states adopted communist ideology and policies to facilitate international alliances and promote development. Those regimes form a subset of African one-party states that span the ideological spectrum. In post-colonial Africa communist and socialist movements have made episodic political gains during turbulent periods, but they have found it difficult to capitalize on such advances when faced with multiparty elections.

Keywords: communism; socialism; Africa; anti-colonial; nationalist; one-party states; post-colonial movement; trade unions

Article.  8163 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History ; African History

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