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Current research seeks to re-evaluate the position of African nationalist movements in wider, global politics during the 1960s. Sheds light on extent to which Zambia’s UNIP was able to alter the thinking of influential world powers towards African politics which, in turn, explains how nationalism became an international phenomenon at this time. The study will show that unlike many coeval nationalist movements, UNIP’s activities in the international sphere were regarded by party leaders as having a much wider significance than improving the party’s domestic fortunes. By feeding into the wider trajectory of international anticolonial politics, UNIP hoped to become a major participant in pan-African and international affairs, changing perceptions of African nationalism in Zambia. Understanding UNIP’s manoeuvrings at this time, therefore, provides an important basis for appreciating why, after 1964, Kaunda and his colleagues developed an ideological commitment to liberate Africans living under the oppression of colonial rule, taking active steps to make Zambia an ally of freedom fighters, lending them resources and providing them with space to conduct their operations.

Image by Patrick Tomasso
Image by Susan Yin

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