The making of Zimbabwe: decolonization in regional and international politics

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20 Scopus citations


A description and analysis of the transition from white Rhodesia to black Zimbabwe in the brief but crucial period between 1974 and 1979, placing the process within the context of the decoloniaztion of Southern Africa, taking up the story after the Portuguese colonial abdication in the wake of the Lisbon coup. The withdrawal of the Portuguese radically altered the stalemate in Rhodesia, and the process of decolonization became both more intensive - military and diplomatic strategies were much more energetically pursued - and more comprehensive, as existing external participants became more involved, and new ones entered the scene. The crisis ceased to be predominantly a black-white domestic confrontation. The author employs the analytical concept of a conflict system with equally active domestic, regional and international actors. Close attention is given to the complex and intensive set of interactions within the conflict system which gave it its volatile and dynamic qualities. In accounting for the failure to secure a peaceful resolution to the Rhodesian conflict in the Victoria Falls Bridge conference in 1975 and the Geneva conference in 1976-77, and for the success of the Lancaster House conference in 1979, the concept of "ripeness of conflict' is employed. The author argues that only the combination of successful conference management and highly favourable circumstances secured a peaceful and successful resolution to the Rhodesian crisis. -M.Amos

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe making of Zimbabwe
Subtitle of host publicationdecolonization in regional and international politics
PublisherFrank Cass
ISBN (Print)0714633550, 9780714633558
StatePublished - 1990


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