1st Edition

The United Nations and Decolonization

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Differing interpretations of the history of the United Nations on the one hand conceive of it as an instrument to promote colonial interests while on the other emphasize its influence in facilitating self-determination for dependent territories. The authors in this book explore this dynamic in order to expand our understanding of both the achievements and the limits of international support for the independence of colonized peoples. This book will prove foundational for scholars and students of modern history, international history, and postcolonial history.


    Jessica Lynne Pearson

    Part I: The Politics of Oversight

    1. National Prerogatives versus International Supervision: Britain’s Evolving Policy toward the Campaign for Equivalency of United Nations’ Handling of Dependent Territories, 1945-1963

    Mary Ann Heiss

    2. A Challenge to the System: The South West African Question and the United Nations Trusteeship Council

    Jason Morgan

    3. The United Nations, the Italian Decolonization and the 1949 Bevin-Sforza Plan: A Victory for Neo-colonialism?

    Francesco Tamburini

    Part II: Decolonizing Global Governance?

    4. The United Nations between ‘Old Boys Club’ and a Changing World Order: The South African-Indian Dispute at the United Nations, 1945-1955

    Angela Loschke

    5. ‘A Crisis of Confidence’: The Postcolonial Moment and the Diplomacy of Decolonization at the United Nations, ca. 1961

    Caio Simões de Araújo

    6. Haiti, the United Nations, and Decolonization in the Congo

    Chantalle F. Verna

    Part III: Unraveling Empire

    7. The Trust Territory of Somaliland, 1950-1960: Trusteeship or Colony?

    Alessia Tortolini

    8. The United Nations and Information Gathering on Portuguese Colonies, 1961-1962

    Aurora Almada e Santos

    9. The United Nations and West Papuan Self-Determination: Lingering Conceptions of ‘Civilization’ in the Decolonization Process

    Grace Cheng


    Nicole Eggers is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee– Knoxville. Her field of research is the modern history of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Jessica Lynne Pearson is Assistant Professor of History at Macalester College. She is the author of The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (2018).

    Aurora Almada e Santos is Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of NOVA University of Lisbon. She is the author of A Organização das Nações Unidas e a Questão Colonial Portuguesa, 19601974 (2017).