Decolonisation and Regional Geopolitics : South Africa and the ‘Congo Crisis’, 1960-1965 book cover
1st Edition

Decolonisation and Regional Geopolitics
South Africa and the ‘Congo Crisis’, 1960-1965

ISBN 9780367660581
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

Decolonisation and Regional Geopolitics argues that as much as the ‘Congo crisis’ (1960-1965) was a Cold War battleground, so too was it a battleground for Southern Africa’s decolonisation. This book provides a transnational history of African decolonisation, apartheid diplomacy, and Southern African nationalist movements. It answers three central questions. First, what was the nature of South African involvement in the Congo crisis? Second, what was the rationale for this involvement? Third, how did South Africans perceive the crisis?

Innovatively, the book shifts the focus on the Congo crisis away from Cold War intervention and centres it around African decolonisation and regional geopolitics.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


List of Abbreviations

1960 Map of Southern Africa

1960 Map of Congo

Section I: Setting the Scene

Centring Africa

The First Republic, 1960-1965

Section II: South African Involvement




Section III: South African Motives and Perceptions



Section IV: Conclusions

An African Battleground


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Lazlo Passemiers is a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Studies Group, University of the Free State, South Africa. He specialises in transnational histories of decolonisation in twentieth-century Southern Africa.


"This trailblazing study is overdue. The historiography of the Congo crisis has long yearned for an exploration of its impact on the sub-region – this book comes over two decades after the appearance of a monograph exploring Britain’s role in the tumult. Passemiers has laid out a compelling template that demonstrates to other scholars how to consider the impact of decolonisation within a continental framework. It should spur new histories of decolonisation that consider with similar vigour the interplay and consequences of imperial retreat across Africa." - Brooks Marmon, University of Edinburgh and University of Pretoria, H-Diplo 

"the book makes a welcome and refreshing contribution to knowledge on the Congo Crisis, and it is bound to sit comfortably among the most influential works that have been written on the local, regional and international geopolitical dimensions of the crisis in Congo during the First Republic." - Godfrey Hove, National University of Lesotho, Southern Journal for Contemporary History

"fascinating in itself and an important addition to the literature on the decolonisation of southern Africa." - Chris Saunders, University of Cape Town, South African Historical Journal