Modules for History Lessons
Decolonization, the Cold War and Development Aid: An Introduction
This introduction looks at the time period between the 1930s and the 1990s. These decades were marked not only by various forms of historical violence and oppression, namely the Shoa and the Second World War, the rise of the Cold War, as well as Apartheid in South Africa and genocide in Rwanda. They were also marked by liberation and the end of foreign rule. Thus, in a process often referred to as “decolonization”, many colonies in Africa and Asia shook off domination by foreign European powers and gained independence as newly founded nation states. Their relation to European countries shifted from being former colonies to so-called “third world” countries and beneficiaries of “development aid”. Moreover, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many nations in Eastern Europe gained independence, a number of them seeking membership in the European Union.
In many instances processes of domination and of liberation not only took place at the same time, but were also connected to each other. The modules in this chapter each focus on a particular moment in this time period and give insight into their inherent contradictions and struggles. In order to provide context for these lessons, this introduction gives a brief overview of some of the contradictions within and connections among the processes of decolonization, the Cold War era, and the rise of development aid.
Decolonization refers, firstly, to the end of imperial rule by European nations over colonized societies in the Americas, Africa, Asia...
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