In the twenty years after Ireland joined the UN in 1955, one subject
dominated its fortunes: Africa. The first detailed study of Ireland’s
relationship with that continent, this book documents its special
place in Irish history.
Adopting a highly original and strongly comparative approach, it
shows how small and middling powers like Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and the Nordic states used Africa to shape their position
in the international system, and how their influence waned with
the rise of the Afro-Asian bloc. O’Sullivan chronicles Africa’s impact
on Irish foreign policy; the link between African decolonisation
and Irish post-colonial identity; and the missionaries, aid workers,
diplomats, peacekeepers, and anti-apartheid protesters at the heart
of Irish popular understanding of the developing world.
Offering a fascinating account of small state diplomacy, and a unique
perspective on African decolonisation, this book provides essential
insight for scholars of Irish history, African history, international
relations, and the history of NGOs, as well as anyone interested in
Africa’s important place in the Irish public imagination.