Kevin O’Sullivan
Search for other papers by Kevin O’Sullivan in
Current site
Google Scholar
Ireland, Nigeria and the politics of civil war
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

The key to this chapter lies in the twin themes of challenge and response. The attempted secession of Eastern Nigeria (Biafra; 1968–70) and the civil war it precipitated marked the first challenge to the doctrine of self-determination in post-colonial Africa. How the ‘fire brigade’ states responded – by translating their support for decolonisation and international law into respect for African sovereignty and a commitment to peaceful, negotiated change – said much about their efforts to adapt to a rapidly crystallising post-colonial international system. But challenge also came in a different form. The public attention afforded to the Biafran cause by the sizeable Irish missionary community based there forced a radical shift in the government's relationship with the media and public opinion. This chapter concludes by arguing that the clash between old- and new-style diplomacy these debates engendered represented a blurring of state boundaries and the growing power of transnational phenomena in shaping government policy.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


Ireland, Africa and the end of empire

Small state identity in the Cold War 1955–75


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 110 13 0
Full Text Views 25 2 0
PDF Downloads 31 3 0