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Program in British Studies

'The British Empire and Comparative Decolonization'

Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fri, October 1, 2010 | Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

3:00 PM

British decolonization, especially its African phase, can be placed in comparative context by contrasting its relative coherence with the disorderly disengagement of three smaller imperial powers: the Netherlands, Belgium, and Portugal.  In the African territories, despite an unrealistic attraction to multi-territory federations and special status for settler populations, the British decolonization record contrasts sharply with the costly wars and international crises attending the transfer of power in the three other cases.

Crawford Young is the Rupert Emerson Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he began teaching in 1963.  His books include The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective (1994); The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State (1985); The Politics of Cultural Pluralism (1976); and Politics in the Congo (1965).  He is a member of the Scholars' Council at the Library of Congress and a Past President of the African Studies Association.

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