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Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War
Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the War on Terror

By Elizabeth Schmidt

“Why is this book a ‘must read’? In my view, it is because (Schmidt) manages to bring together a massive amount of information across a highly diverse socioeconomic and political landscape, organize it around a very persuasive set of propositions, and present it in a highly readable and compelling way.”

Larry A. Swatuk, African Studies Review

“A counterweight to the often shallow perspectives on African events and affairs as communicated by broadcast and print media, which tend to be overly descriptive, short on evidence, and divorced from historical context. Libraries, be they local public institutions or at major research universities, would be well advised to include this title in their collections.”

Jonathan T. Reynolds, American Historical Review

“[A] well-organized, easy-to-read survey of a very complicated field of literature … clear and succinct presentation of major factors driving foreign intervention….it is refreshing to have a textbook on the market that is clearly designed for teaching undergraduates.”

Jeremy M. Rich, H-Africa

Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War should become the quintessential building block for future conceptual, theoretical, and empirical explorations of international affairs in and with Africa.”

A. Carl LeVan, H-Diplo Roundtable, 2 March 2020

In Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War—interdisciplinary in approach and intended for nonspecialists—Elizabeth Schmidt provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa, its purposes, and its consequences. She focuses on the quarter century following the Cold War (1991–2017), when neighboring states and subregional, regional, and global organizations and networks joined extracontinental powers in support of diverse forces in the war-making and peace-building processes. During this period, two rationales were used to justify intervention: a response to instability, with the corollary of responsibility to protect, and the war on terror.

Often overlooked in discussions of poverty and violence in Africa is the fact that many of the challenges facing the continent today are rooted in colonial political and economic practices, in Cold War alliances, and in attempts by outsiders to influence African political and economic systems during the decolonization and postindependence periods. Although conflicts in Africa emerged from local issues, external political and military interventions altered their dynamics and rendered them more lethal. Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War counters oversimplification and distortions and offers a new continentwide perspective, illuminated by trenchant case studies.

Elizabeth Schmidt is professor emeritus of history at Loyola University Maryland. Her previous books include Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror; Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958; Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939–1958; Peasants, Traders, and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbabwe, 1870–1939; and Decoding Corporate Camouflage: U.S. Business Support for Apartheid.More info →


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In Series

Research in International Studies, Global and Comparative Studies, № 19




Retail price: $36.95, S.
Release date: October 2018
36 illus. · 472 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Retail price: $85.00, S.
Release date: October 2018
36 illus. · 472 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Release date: October 2018
36 illus. · 472 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War

Foreign Intervention in Africa After the Cold War is a laudable contribution to the expanding body of scholarship … about…Africa’s past and potential future. It is an excellent introductory text for students, policymakers, and other readers…. The suggested readings at the end of each chapter provide a valuable guide for those seeking to further explore specific topics within this remarkable book.”

Emmanuel Osayande, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines

"(Foreign Intervention in Africa) makes an important contribution to the literature on African conflicts. Specifically written for non-specialists, it contains many illustrations, beautiful maps and useful reading suggestions that will appeal to policy-makers, humanitarian actors, students and the general public interested in understanding the consequences of foreign interventions in Africa.”

Olivier Walther, African Studies Quarterly

“A timely analysis …. [The book] is a must-read and will prove quite valuable in providing readers with deeper knowledge to question faulty logic and oversimplified solutions.…Schmidt presents an articulate, meticulous, yet easily comprehensible book that keeps her readers engaged. Summing up: Essential.”


Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War, by one of the leading Africanists in the United States, is richly detailed and beautifully organized. The bibliographical essays at the end of each chapter make it especially helpful to students. This is a fine study that is ideal for classroom use.”

Allen F. Isaacman, author (with Barbara S. Isaacman) of Dams, Displacement, and Delusions of Development

Foreign Intervention in Africa After the Cold War is an excellent contribution to African studies, history and political science because of the many insights into the extent and complexities of foreign intervention in one accessible text. This is a book that reminds us that it is not always just a question of whether to intervene or not.”

The Washington Post

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