Transnational Histories of Southern Africa’s Liberation Movements: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transnational Histories of Southern Africa’s Liberation Movements

1st Edition

Edited by Jocelyn Alexander, JoAnn McGregor, Blessing-Miles Tendi


248 pages

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Hardback: 9780367427641
pub: 2019-12-03
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Transnational Histories of Southern Africa’s Liberation Movements offers new perspectives on southern Africa’s wars of national liberation, drawing on extensive oral historical and archival research.

Assuming neither the primacy of nationalist loyalties as they exist today nor any single path to liberation, the book unpicks any notion of a straightforward imposition of Cold War ideologies or strategic interests on liberation wars. This approach adds new dimensions to the rich literatures on the Global Cold War and on solidarity movements. The contributors trace the ways that ideas and practices were made, adopted, and circulated through time and space through a focus on African soldiers, politicians and diplomats. The book also asks what motivated the men and women who crossed borders to join liberation movements, how Cold War influences were acted upon, interpreted and used, and why certain moments, venues and relations took on exaggerated importance. The connections among liberation movements, between them and their hosts, and across an extraordinarily diverse set of external actors reveal surprising exchanges and lasting legacies that have too often been obscured by the assertion of monolithic national histories.

Tracing an extraordinarily diverse set of interactions and exchanges, Transnational Histories of Southern Africa’s Liberation Movements will be of great interest to scholars of Southern Africa, Transnational History, the Cold War and African Politics. The chapters were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Table of Contents


The Transnational Histories of Southern African Liberation Movements

Jocelyn Alexander, JoAnn McGregor and Blessing-Miles Tendi

African Uses of the Cold War

1. Global Ideologies, Local Politics: The Cold War as Seen from Central Angola

Justin Pearce

2. ‘Makers of Bonds and Ties’: Transnational Socialisation and National Liberation in Mozambique

Daniel Kaiser

3. African Soldiers in the USSR: Oral Histories of ZAPU Intelligence Cadres’ Soviet Training, 1964–1979

Jocelyn Alexander and JoAnn McGregor

African Diplomacy and International Connections

4. Mediators of Liberation: Eastern-Bloc Officials, Mozambican Diplomacy and the Origins of Soviet Support for Frelimo, 1958–1965

Natalia Telepneva

5. ZANU’s External Networks 1963–1979: An Appraisal

Gerald Chikozho Mazarire

6. Front Line Diplomats: African Diplomatic Representations of the Zimbabwean Patriotic Front, 1976–1978

Timothy Scarnecchia

Hosts, Allies and Enemies on the African Front Line

7. Education in Exile: International Scholarships, Cold War Politics, and Conflicts among SWAPO Members in Tanzania, 1961–1968

Christian A. Williams

8. Transnationalism, Contingency and Loyalty in African Liberation Armies: The Case of ZANU’s 1974–1975 Nhari Mutiny

Blessing-Miles Tendi

9. Nationalism and Exile in an Age of Solidarity: Frelimo–ZANU Relations in Mozambique (1975–1980)

Clinarete Victoria Luis Munguambe

10. ‘Past History Has Not Been Forgotten’: The ANC/ZAPU Alliance – the Second Phase, 1978–1980

Hugh Macmillan

11. Apartheid’s Transnational Soldiers: The Case of Black Namibian Soldiers in South Africa’s Former Security Forces

Lennart Bolliger

Participant Papers: Making and Remembering Transnational Histories

12. Relations between ZAPU and the USSR, 1960s–1970s: A Personal View

Dumiso Dabengwa

13. Moscow and Zimbabwe’s Liberation

Vladimir Shubin


Liberating Histories

Hilary Sapire

About the Editors

Jocelyn Alexander is Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the University of Oxford, UK.

JoAnn McGregor is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sussex, UK.

Blessing-Miles Tendi is Associate Professor of African Politics at the University of Oxford, UK.

About the Series

Southern African Studies

The academic research volumes in this interdisciplinary series are publications in book format of special issues from the Journal of Southern African Studies. The special issues are often complimented by updated forewords or epilogues.  The Journal Editorial Board act as the series editors.

The Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS) is an international publication for work of high academic quality on issues of interest and concern in the region of Southern Africa. It generates fresh scholarly research in the fields of history, economics, sociology, demography, social anthropology, geography, development studies, administration, law, political science, political economy, international relations, literature, cultural studies, and the natural sciences in so far as they relate to the human condition. It periodically organises and supports conferences to this end, sometimes in the region. It seeks to encourage inter-disciplinary analysis, strong comparative perspectives and original research that reflects new theoretical or methodological approaches. An active international advisory board with strong Southern African representation demonstrates our close ties with scholars there and our commitment to promoting research in the region.

The region covered embraces South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique; and occasionally, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Mauritius.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies