SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

The Diplomacy of Decolonization

Professor Alanna O'Malley (Leiden University / The Hague University of Applied Sciences), Dr Sue Onslow (Institute of Commonwealth Studies), Chair: Dr Michael Amoah (SOAS)

Date: 28 November 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 28 November 2019Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT, SOAS

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

This lecture, led by Dr Alanna O’Malley will reinterpret the role of the UN during the Congo crisis from 1960 to 1964, presenting a multidimensional view of the organisation. Through an examination of the Anglo-American relationship, Dr O’Malley’s work reveals how the UN helped position this event as a lightning rod in debates about how decolonisation interacted with the Cold War.

By examining the ways in which the various dimensions of the UN came into play in Anglo-American considerations of how to handle the Congo crisis, her research reveals how the Congo debate reverberated in wider ideological struggles about how decolonisation evolved and what the role of the UN would be in managing this process. The UN became a central battle ground for ideas and visions of world order; as the newly-independent African and Asian states sought to redress the inequalities created by colonialism, the US and UK sought to maintain the status quo, while the Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld tried to reconcile these two contrasting views.

Professor Alanna O'Malley holds the Special Chair in United Nations Studies in Peace and Justice at Leiden University/The Hague University. She is a historian of the UN, Congo, Cold War and Decolonisation. In January 2020 she will begin a new project funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council entitled: Challenging the Liberal World Order from Within, the Invisible History of the United Nations and the Global South, 1945-1981 (INVISIHIST).

Dr Sue Onslow is deputy director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study at the University of London. She has written widely on British foreign policy and decolonization, and southern Africa in the Cold War era.

The event will be chaired by Dr Michael Amoah. Dr Amoah is Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. London School of Economics".

The event is free to attend with no registration necessary.

Organiser: CISD, CAS, RAS

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