Mapping socialist solidarities: SWAPO, the Namibian liberation struggle, and the Global Cold War

Pasqualini, Arianna (2023) Mapping socialist solidarities: SWAPO, the Namibian liberation struggle, and the Global Cold War, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Storie, culture e politiche del globale, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10839.
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This thesis addresses the entanglements between the Namibian liberation struggle and the global Cold War, focusing on the socialist support provided to the South West African People Organization (SWAPO), the liberation movement that fought for the independence of the country from the South African regime. This thesis aims at analyzing three socialist models of solidarity with the SWAPO’s struggle that developed especially from the late 1970s. Combining archival sources and biographical accounts, it examines the politics of solidarity with SWAPO implemented by East Germany, Cuba, and the Italian Communist Party. The interest lies in understanding how solidarity was declined and received by internal promoters and external addressees. Thus, I explore how these three actors constructed their concept of solidarity with SWAPO according to their national and ideological contexts and how this was received by the SWAPO members who experienced it in various ways. Each socialist actor promoted solidarity with SWAPO by using varying narratives, pursuing their own objectives, and employing diverse instruments, thus carrying out different and sometimes competing visions of socialism and solidarity. On its side, SWAPO was able to take advantage from such visions, as each of them could serve its different needs in diverse ways. In providing a general overview of these three solidarity policies, this thesis has the objective of highlighting the internal pluralization of the “socialist solidarity regime” while at the same time contributing to the debate on the extent of SWAPO’s commitment to socialism during the Namibian liberation struggle. It argues that, while pragmatism has always guided SWAPO during the liberation struggle and the post-independence period, and non-alignment has always been its international stance, socialism has to some extent been a model for the revolution in Namibia, to the point that it is still influencing the SWAPO party today.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pasqualini, Arianna
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Socialism, Solidarity, SWAPO, Anti-Apartheid, Namibian liberation struggle
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2023

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