Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Africa Book of the Day - 29 May 2014

Ireland, Africa and the End of Empire: Small State Identity in the Cold War 1955-75 by Kevin O'Sullivan

Release Date: May 29, 2014
Publisher: Manchester University Press

In the twenty years after Ireland joined the UN in 1955, one subject dominated its fortunes: Africa. The first detailed study of Ireland's relationship with that continent, this book, now available in paperback, documents its special place in Irish history.

Adopting a highly original, and strongly comparative approach, it shows how small and middling powers like Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and the Nordic states used Africa to shape their position in the international system, and how their influence waned with the rise of the Afro-Asian bloc. O'Sullivan chronicles Africa's impact on Irish foreign policy; the link between African decolonisation and Irish post-colonial identity; and the missionaries, aid workers, diplomats, peacekeepers, and anti-apartheid protesters at the heart of Irish popular understanding of the developing world.

Offering a fascinating account of small state diplomacy, and a unique perspective on African decolonisation, this book provides essential insight for scholars of Irish history, African history, international relations, and the history of NGOs, as well as anyone interested in Africa's important place in the Irish public imagination.

Kevin O'Sullivan is a lecturer in history at the National University of Ireland-Galway. He has contributed chapters to International Organizations and Development, 1945-1990 (forthcoming, 2014; edited by Marc Frey, Sonke Kunkel, and Corinna R Unger), Saints and Sinners: Official Development Aid and Its Dynamics in a Historical and Comparative Perspective (edited by Thorsten Borring Olesen, Helge O. Pharo, and Kristian Paaskesen), and Obligations and Responsibilities: Ireland and the United Nations, 1955-2005: Essays Marking Fifty Years of Ireland's United Nations Membership.