More than a Cold War scholarship: East-Central African anticolonial activists, the International Union of Socialist Youth, and the evasion of the colonial state (1955-65)

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Abstract

This article uses the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), a youth international formed in Paris in 1946, as a prism through which to study how young leaders from Anglophone East and Central Africa forged transnational networks that allowed them to circumvent certain constraints of the late colonial state and the Cold War world. Adopting a regional perspective and focusing on non-state actors, the article foregrounds the importance of personal contacts, in order to travel abroad and participate in discussions about decolonisation and the contemporary world order. Mobile individuals from the region enabled IUSY to broaden its membership base, while IUSY’s specificity as a youth organisation allowed it to fashion itself in a way that appealed variably to anticolonial leaders from this region, to the colonial state, and to private foundations. The priorities of both IUSY and its contacts shifted dramatically during the period 1955-65, initially coming together in the form of study tours, and later in projects based in the region, while the approach and fact of political independence raised financial concerns as IUSY’s activities increasingly overflowed beyond the categories of ‘youth’ and ‘education’.1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-43
JournalStichproben
Volume34
Issue number2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

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