States-in-Waiting: Nationalism, Internationalism, Decolonization
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CitationWalker, Lydia. 2018. States-in-Waiting: Nationalism, Internationalism, Decolonization. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractWhat happened to peoples who felt colonized in post-colonial states? After the Second World War, the formal international order of the United Nations and Cold War political alignments recognized national self-determination as a right, but only saw claims of self-determination within European empires. However, there are hidden stories of anti-colonial claims within post-colonial states, claims that operated through informal networks because they were invisible to international institutions. These networks produced a layer of international relations that took on the question of so-called minority nationalisms.
States-in-Waiting follows the activities of a network of missionaries, anthropologists, and activists that formed during the struggle for Indian independence. Subsequently, they tried to help 1960s decolonization escape its ‘entrapment in violence.’ They assisted Kenneth Kaunda’s ascension to leadership of the state-in-waiting of Zambia, and helped maintain the state-in-waiting of Namibia’s League of Nations Mandate status, which prevented its international-legal absorption into apartheid South Africa. They also hurt the legitimacy of another state-in-waiting, that of Katanga, which attempted to secede from Congo-Leopoldville (present day Democratic Republic of the Congo). However, a nationalist claim within a post-colonial state, the state-in-waiting of Nagaland in India, disturbed the basis for this network’s support of national liberation by alienating its Indian membership.
Transnational advocacy delivered informal representation for nationalist movements that did not have access to formal political forums in the United Nations’ state-centric system of international order. Advocates read nationalist claims as a rights concern, and bundled them with that of political inequality within states and humanitarian issues outside of state jurisdiction. Therefore, I argue that advocacy, integral to the pursuit of sovereignty, was incompatible with actual sovereignty. Leaders of post-colonial states knew this. When nationalist movements became post-colonial state governments with the aid of advocacy—India (1947), Zambia (1964), Namibia (1990), among many others—they disavowed the process that had helped empower them, breaking with their former advocates after they achieved independence. National independence meant independence from advocacy.
This dissertation considers the peoples for whom 1960s global decolonization did not mean national liberation, the unofficial individuals who spoke for them that were empowered by the United Nations’ inability to do so, and the relationship between these two sets of actors. By illuminating the mutual, yet unequal dependence of nationalists and their advocates, States-in-Waiting shows how certain nationalist claimants achieved forms of pre-independence recognition from advocacy, but that this support came with strings that constrained nationalist claims.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41128497
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