Liberia and the United States During the Cold War: Limits of Reciprocity

Overview

Exploring the dynamics and limitations of reciprocity in Liberia-US relations, the book offers a perspective on security and economic assistance as instruments of foreign policy. It examines policy formulation and implementation, and the tactics and consequences of the relationship as both countries pursued their national interests. At once a diplomatic history and case study of African foreign policy and presidential leadership, the work illustrates how development and security assistance were used by the US as ...

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Overview

Exploring the dynamics and limitations of reciprocity in Liberia-US relations, the book offers a perspective on security and economic assistance as instruments of foreign policy. It examines policy formulation and implementation, and the tactics and consequences of the relationship as both countries pursued their national interests. At once a diplomatic history and case study of African foreign policy and presidential leadership, the work illustrates how development and security assistance were used by the US as antidotes against communism in the Cold War and how Liberia, in spite of the asymmetrical relationship, was able occasionally to benefit from the arrangement. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dunn combines the tools of a dispassionate social scientist with the detailed knowledge of an insider to produce a remarkably even-handed and insightful study."—John Yoder, Professor of Political Science, Whitworth University

“An excellent job at enlightening the world about the Tolbert administration, based on concrete research and personal experience."— Wilton G.S. Sankawulo (1937-2009)

“Until the 1960s, most studies of the Liberian condition tended to be a paean or perdition. Latter studies portrayed Liberia as typical of the black man’s incapacity for self government without identifying a saving grace. Analyses of Liberian situation changed with Liebenow’s The Evolution and Privilege. Clower et al’s Growth without Development enhanced the respectability of Liberianist scholarship when they established authoritatively why high economic growth originating in enclaves failed to develop Liberia during the preceding decades. Growth was due to merchant, not industrial capital and enlarged not only gross domestic product but sustained divisiveness and undermined prospects toward a national identity and national cohesion. Dunn’s Liberia and the United States during the Cold War is extensively documented, well written and contains proposals toward removing Liberia’s overwhelming governance deficits. It is an epochal book.”—Dr. Bryan Tarr, formerly member of the cabinet in three Liberian administrations, economic and political governance consultant

"Liberia recent emergence from an intractable war and its election of the first woman president in Africa has attracted much world attention. The country faces significant challenges of reconstruction, development and reconciliation of a nation traumatized by fourteen years of brutal warfare. Liberia and the United States During the Cold War delivers an exacting account and perspective on Liberia-US relations in the framework of security and economic assistance as instruments of foreign policy. The relationship chronology spans Liberia’s founding as a state, through the cold war, and up to the present. Anyone analyzing the mysteries of foreign policy relations of any country could scarcely be under any illusions concerning the formidable and frustrating nature of the undertaking. The conceptual and practical problems inherent in analyzing the actions of any state are impracticable. In the case of a developing country and one that has endured conflict such as Liberia the task is even more daunting because of lack of transparency and inadequate record keeping. Yet, despite these challenges the author, Elwood Dunn, has provided us with a clear and concise treatise of a systematic analysis of Liberia-US relations. A proven historian and author specializing in comparative and world politics, the author served as the minister of state for presidential affairs (1980) in the Liberian government and his analysis is therefore informed by this experience. Dunn goes beyond the recorded facts and examines the underlying arguments as he pieces together and chronicles the on-going relationship. This he does with depth of knowledge, brilliant foreign affairs experience and vast research. This book is a seminal work. It is a welcome contribution and an excellent resource to understanding the history and multifaceted relationship between Liberia and the US."—Muna Ndulo, Professor of Law, Cornell University and Director of the University’s Institute for African Development (IAD).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230617353
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Elwood Dunn is the Alfred Walter Negley Professor of Political Science at Sewanee, The University of the South.

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Background to the Relationship
• Tubman and the United States, 1944-1971
• Tolbert and the United States, 1971-1980
• Doe and the United States, 1980-1990
• Conclusions * Bibliography
• Index

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