The 1970s was a decade of profound transformation in Southern Africa: faltering nationbuilding projects based on a variety of socialist models of development post independence intersected with a growing crisis of white constructs of nationalism and increasingly militant liberation movements. These dynamics of change cannot be analysed separately from the international environment of détente, which proved both an enabling and distorting factor in the process of change in the region. Building on successful collaboration between IPRI and LSE IDEAS on two conferences on conflict in Southern Africa in the Cold War era, and decolonisation and its legacies, this conference seeks to highlight new research on the interaction of Détente and smaller states in Southern Africa. This was a key decade in the rise and fall of the Cold War in the extra-European world: Just as the human rights debate was to contribute to the long-wave of change in the geo-political environment in Europe, so tension between human rights and models of economic progress challenged the international community and the domestic status quo in the Southern African region.
This conference seeks to explore comparisons and difference in the dynamics and impact of détente in Southern Africa, and local sources and understandings. It adopts a deliberate multi-disciplinary approach to combine social-psychological discussion of international and regional perception and motives, analysis of contemporary high politics and explanations for the changing structure of the international system in the region. Its themes are national and transnational actors and agencies; personalities, ideologies and opportunities. Papers that draw on new archives from the region, as well as multi-archival research, are particularly welcome.
a) the Superpowers and Détente: new findings
a) Luso-phone Africa and the mirage of détente:
b) South Africa/Rhodesia: Détente and its detractors
c) Détente and the Front Line States
Proposals (max. 500 words) and supporting CVs should be submitted to Dr Sue Onslow, firstname.lastname@example.org , by 31st January 2011.
Dr Sue Onslow
London School of Economics
Phone (0207) 852 3796
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