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By Christopher Clapham

African independence embarked on foreign politics a bunch of the world's poorest, weakest and so much synthetic states. How have such states controlled to outlive? To what volume is their survival now threatened? Christopher Clapham indicates how an before everything supportive overseas atmosphere has develop into more and more threatening to African rulers and the states over which they preside. the writer finds how foreign conventions designed to uphold kingdom sovereignty have usually been appropriated and subverted through rulers to augment their household keep watch over, and the way African states were undermined by means of guerrilla insurgencies and using diplomacy to serve primarily deepest ends.

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Commonly lumped together under the heading of 'globalisation', these economic and related changes notably included a rapid increase in the mobility of capital; a resulting increase in levels of structural differentiation and functional integration in the global economy; a shift away from resources and towards human skills as the critical element in wealth creation, which in turn distinguished the regions which were (and were not) able to benefit from economic growth; a startling growth in information flows and the capacity to process information, encouraged by technical developments in mass communications; some corresponding emergence of a global culture, challenged though this was by a reaction towards particularist ideas; and consequent pressures on the governments of states, which were affected both by a need to manage their economies in accordance with a global search for comparative advantage, and by the impact of values derived from the global culture, in the form of demands both from external actors and from their own people.

As this integration proceeded, so the scope for arranging such deals, and the commission which the intermediary could extract from them, were progressively squeezed. Where formerly underdeveloped states were able to achieve a breakthrough into export-led industrial production, as was the case with several east and south-east Asian states, these benefited from rapid economic growth, which in turn strengthened both the fiscal and the political autonomy of the state, even though (or because) the economy was increasingly integrated into global markets.

At one extreme, the government recognised by international institutions and the majority of outside states simply comprised that group of people who most closely approximated to external norms of legitimacy. The Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia continued to represent that country in the United Nations, even after being ejected from power at home, as a means by which outside states could express disapproval of the Vietnamese invasion, violating the rules of sovereignty, which had established the successor regime in power; the responsibility of the Khmer Rouge regime for killing very large numbers of Cambodians constituted, in the eyes of the international community, a less important disqualification.

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