Managing the World: The United Nations, Decolonization and the Strange Triumph of State Sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s

Muschik, Eva-Maria (2018). Managing the World: The United Nations, Decolonization and the Strange Triumph of State Sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s. Journal of Global History, 13(1), pp. 122-144. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S1740022817000316

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This article examines a 1956 United Nations effort to respond to decolonization, by supplying newly independent governments with international administrators to help build sovereign nation-states out of the disintegrating European empires and anchor them firmly within the capitalist world. The article reveals the UN as a significant historical actor during the Cold War beyond the organization’s function of providing a forum for intergovernmental debates and lobbying. While the initiative never resulted in a large-scale response to decolonization, it ultimately effected a substantial shift in the practice of development assistance: from advisory services to a more paternalist approach that focused on ‘getting the work done’ on behalf of aid recipients. Recovering this history helps account for the strange triumph of state sover- eignty in the second half of the twentieth century: its global proliferation at a time when inter- national actors became increasingly active in the management of the public affairs of developing countries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History > Zeitgeschichte

UniBE Contributor:

Muschik, Eva-Maria

Subjects:

900 History > 990 History of other areas

ISSN:

1740-0228

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Eva-Maria Muschik

Date Deposited:

01 Jul 2019 11:20

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 23:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S1740022817000316

Additional Information:

#ppe

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.128648

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/128648

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