Dag Hammarskjoeld the United Nations & the Decolonisation of Africa
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
In 1953 Dag Hammarskjoeld became the second Secretary-General of the United Nations--the highest international civil servant. Before his mission was cut short by a 1961 plane crash in then Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), he used his office to act on the basis of anti-hegemonic values, including solidarity and recognition of otherness. The dubious circumstances of Hammarskjoeld's death have received much attention, including a new official investigation; but have perhaps overshadowed his diplomatic legacy--one that has often been hotly contested. Henning Melber explores the years of African decolonisation during which Hammarskjoeld was in office, investigating the scope and limits of his influence within the context of global governance. He paints a picture of a man with strong guiding principles, but limited room for manoeuver, colliding with the essential interests of the big powers as the `wind of change' blew over the African continent. His book is a critical contribution to the study of international politics and the role of the UN in the Cold War. It is also a tribute to the achievements of a cosmopolitan Swede.
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