America, the UN and Decolonisation

Cold War Conflict in the Congo

By John Kent

© 2010 – Routledge

244 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415510103
pub: 2011-11-28
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415464147
pub: 2010-03-19
US Dollars$150.00

About the Book

This book examines the role of the UN in conflict resolution in Africa in the 1960s and its relation to the Cold War.

Focussing on the Congo, this book shows how the preservation of the existing economic and social order in the Congo was a key element in the decolonisation process and the fighting of the Cold War. It links the international aspects of British, Belgian, Angolan and Central African Federation involvement with the roles of the US and UN in order to understand how supplies to and profits from the Congo were producing growing African problems. This large Central African country played a vital, if not fully understood role, in the Cold War and proved to be a fascinating example of complex African problems of decolonisation interacting with international forces, in ways that revealed a great deal about the problems inherent in colonialism and its end.

This book will be of much interest to students of US foreign policy, the UN, Cold War history and international history in general.


'Anglophone historians in the last two decades have done little to place the crises that beset the Democratic Republic of Congo between independence in 1960 and 1964 in the contexts of Cold War diplomatic history. This new book is an important corrective to this negligence. By using US and British diplomatic archives that were closed to researchers in the 1960s, Kent (international relations, London School of Economics) uncovers the extremely complex negotiations between various Congolese actors, US officials, the UN, and the divided Belgian political establishment. […] An excellent book on African decolonization, the Congo, and 1960s Cold War diplomatic history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' -- J. M. Rich, Middle Tennessee State University

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Independence Disaster 1958 - Sept 1960 2. The Dismissal and Murder of Lumumba and the Establishment of the Adoula Government September 1960 - August 1961 3. The Adoula Government and Kitona: the Conflict and Dilemmas Created by US and UN Policy August - December 1961 4. Too Little Too Late January - July 1962 5. The Last Adoula Government of a Divided Congo July – December 1962 6. The End of Secession and the Beginning of the End for the Congo December 1962 - January 1963 7. Unified Nation Building and No Unity to Build On January- Oct 1963 8. The Emerging Chaos and the Forces of Disintegration Bring Tshombe’s Return October 1963 -July 1964. Conclusion

About the Author

John Kent is Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

About the Series

LSE International Studies Series

The International Studies series is based on the LSE’s oldest research centre and like the LSE itself was established to promote inter-disciplinary studies. The CIS facilitates research into many different aspects of the international community and produces interdisciplinary research into the international system as it experiences the forces of globalisation. As the capacity of domestic change to produce global consequences increases, so does the need to explore areas which cannot be confined within a single discipline or area of study. The series hopes to focus on the impact of cultural changes on foreign relations, the role of strategy and foreign policy and the impact of international law and human rights on global politics. It is intended to cover all aspects of foreign policy including, the historical and contemporary forces of empire and imperialism, the importance of domestic links to the international roles of states and non-state actors, particularly in Europe, and the relationship between development studies, international political economy and regional actors on a comparative basis, but is happy to include any aspect of the international with an inter-disciplinary aspect.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / United States
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy