Britain, France and the Decolonization of Africa: Future Imperfect?
Edited by Andrew W.M. Smith and Chris Jeppesen | March 2017
Format: 234 x 156mm
Open Access PDF
About the book
Looking at decolonization in the conditional tense, this volume teases out the complex and uncertain ends of British and French empire in Africa during the period of ‘late colonial shift’ after 1945. Rather than view decolonization as an inevitable process, the contributors together explore the crucial historical moments in which change was negotiated, compromises were made, and debates were staged.
Three core themes guide the analysis: development, contingency and entanglement. The chapters consider the ways in which decolonization was governed and moderated by concerns about development and profit. A complementary focus on contingency allows deeper consideration of how colonial powers planned for ‘colonial futures’, and how divergent voices greeted the end of empire. Thinking about entanglements likewise stresses both the connections that existed between the British and French empires in Africa, and those that endured beyond the formal transfer of power.
About the editors
Andrew W.M. Smith is a historian of the French and Francophone world. His work focuses on concepts of centre and periphery, analysing various contexts in which this relationship has shaped developments within and beyond the structures of the modern state. Smith is currently a Teaching Fellow at UCL and the Secretary of the Society for the Study of French History.
Chris Jeppesen is a historian of Britain and the British empire during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His work focuses on the shifting place of empire within British culture, in particular in the period after the Second World War. He has previously written on the motivation behind careers in empire during the twentieth century, and is currently a Teaching Fellow at UCL.