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The American Response to Africa's Participation in the International System

  • Herbert J. Spiro


Africa's participation in the international system, by whatever measures it is gauged, skyrocketed during the 1960s from a level close to zero to its present extensity, intensity, and complexity. The difficulty of analyzing the American response to Africa's participation arises from at least two intellectual — but not merely intellectual — problems: First, there have been many different — and differentiated — American responses rather than a single one. Second, much of what is often described as American responses actually may have been triggered by American initiatives to which Africans responded, setting off a kind of chain reaction of reciprocal interactions, which have neither a clearly discernible beginning nor a definable end in time.



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1 See Spiro, “An Evaluation of Systems Theory,” in Contemporary Political Analysis, J.C. Charlesworth, ed. (New York, 1966), p. 168 and passim.

2 Gale W. McGee, “The U.S. Congress and the Rhodesian Chrome Issue,” Issue, II, 2n p. 2.

3 Spiro, Political Africa (Englewood Cliffs, 1962), pp. 24-42 and passim.

4 Spiro, Government by Constitution (New York, 1959).

5 Spiro, World Politics: The Global System (Homewood, III., 1966).

6 Spiro, ed., Patterns of African Development (Englewood Cliffs, 1967), pp. 125-144.

7 U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970's - A Report to the Congress by Richard Nixon, 1970, 1971, 1972. United States Foreign Policy - A Report of the Secretary of State, 1969-1970, 1971.

8 Spiro, “Comparative Politics: A Comprehensive Approach,” American Political Science Review, LVI, 3, Sept. 1962, pp. 577-95; and Politics as the Master Science: From Plato to Mao (New York, 1970).

9 “The Changing World Power Structure,” Department of State Publication 8665, August 1972, p. 2.

10 “Southern Africa — Constant Themes in U.S. Policy,” based on an Address by David D. Newsom, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Department of State Publication 8671, African Series 53, August 1972.

11 “Hope for a World Characterized More by Engagement,” an Address by the Secretary, Department of State Newsletter, October 1972, No. 138, p. 16.

The American Response to Africa's Participation in the International System

  • Herbert J. Spiro


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