Date of Degree

2-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Simon Davis

Subject Categories

History | International Relations | Political Science

Keywords

colonialism, Congo, imperialism, Lumumba, Mobutu, Unipolarity

Abstract

The current international system has been described by some as unipolar. After World War II, the United States was able to develop and solidify a liberal international order built upon multilateralist principles but founded upon American military and economic supremacy. As a result of the orders success, it has become global. The Cold War is generally understood as the conflict between the liberal capitalistic American-led order and the Marxist-Leninist Soviet-centered bloc. To fully understand the making of unipolarity, however, scholars must shift their focus to the process of decolonization and the intra-NATO tensions that developed. This paper will use the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a case study. While the USSR posed a threat to Congolese Free World alignment during the Congo's first few months of independence, the Congo Crisis ultimately became a clash between the United States and the former colonial metropole, Belgium.

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