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Political History of Guinea since World War Two


Mohamed Saliou Camara

Political History of Guinea since World War Two provides an in-depth study of the political evolution of Guinea from World War Two to the present. Based on primary-source information, it examines with rare depth and breadth the eventful history of this nation-state, whose trajectory has impacted in no small ways Francophone Africa and the rest of the continent. Interviews with some of the most knowledgeable and most credible actors and/or witnesses of Guinea’s political history and archival research, including the papers of key individuals never opened to the public before, constitute the foundation of this work. The author’s personal and professional experience further strengthens the work. As a native Guinean, a historian, and a journalist imbued with the political ideology of the PDG regime, the author was also a close and alert witness of the political transformation of this country. Hence, the book offers an incisive analysis of domestic politics and policy making under the five successive regimes that have governed Guinea since independence in 1958. It also offers an equally incisive analysis of the country’s foreign relations within international frameworks such as the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations, the Nonalignment Movement, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and so on. This ground-breaking work is perfectly suited for courses in areas such as history, political science, African studies, decolonization studies, Third World studies, and nationalism studies.
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Building nations that can be sociologically congruent, economically viable, and politically mature in modern Africa has been long, painful, and riddled with uncertainty. So too has been the creation of states that are institutionally strong, morally legitimate, and historically self-sustaining. What have materialized thus far are creatures euphemized in twentieth-century political parlance as “nation-states.” Regardless of the characterizations attached to that concept, one is inclined to argue that its usage to designate entities that are neither viable nations nor self-sustaining states has largely been dictated by a twofold logic.

On one level, long before most of Africa gained national sovereignty, the state system had become the realm within which national and international sovereignty was validated by international law. Admittance into the realm conferred upon newly independent countries, in theory at least, the same rights and responsibilities as the world powers that dominate the so-called international community.

On another level, and as a consequence of the preceding predicate, as they made the historic leap to political independence, the new African countries sought admittance to the international state system under the United Nations Organization in order to enjoy the rights and responsibilities inherent thereto. That, in a sense, made them foster children of the system, if only because the latter sprang from the colonial empires that created the framework for Africa’s nation-states.

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