American foreign policy in the Horn of Africa explored in new publication.

Posted on 18th December 2017

The impact of American foreign policy towards the Horn of Africa, particularly during the Cold War period, is considered in a new book by a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Chester.

Professor Meggen Gondek, Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester; author Dr Donna Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History; and Professor Wayne Morris, Director of the School of Humanities at the University of Chester.
Professor Meggen Gondek, Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester; author Dr Donna Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History; and Professor Wayne Morris, Director of the School of Humanities at the University of Chester.

From colonialism, to the Cold War, to terrorism, Dr Donna Jackson’s book, US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa, (published by Routledge), uses Ethiopia and Somalia as case studies to offer an evaluation of the decision-making process during the Cold War, and considers the impact that these decisions had upon subsequent developments both within the Horn of Africa and in the wider international context.

During the period between 1945 and 1991, the decision-making process is studied, including the role of the US President, the input of his advisers and lower level officials within agencies such as the State Department and National Security Council. The parts played by Congress, bureaucracies, public opinion, and other actors within the international environment, especially the Soviet Union, Ethiopia and Somalia, are also explored. Dr Jackson examines the extent to which influences exerted by forces other than the President affected foreign policy, and provides the first comprehensive analysis of American foreign policy towards Ethiopia and Somalia throughout the Cold War.

Dr Jackson said: “Many years ago, in a job interview, I was asked about my research goal. I replied that one day I wanted to write a book about the Cold War in Africa. At the time, it seemed like a lofty goal and now, having done it, I have an even greater appreciation for the task that I set myself. US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa represents years of research and thousands of miles of travel, and it is something of which I am very proud.

“With this book, I am aiming to bring a fresh perspective on issues such as globalism, regionalism, proxy wars, American aid programmes, anti-communism and human rights. I hope it will be of great interest to students and academics in various fields, including American foreign policy, American Studies and Politics, the history of the Cold War, and the history of the Horn of Africa during the modern era.”

Professor Meggen Gondek, Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester, added: “The volume is a great achievement.  We are very proud that Dr Jackson’s work is being recognised with the publication of this important contribution and that it is garnering such high praise.”

Reviews for the publication so far have included:

"Exhaustively researched and argued with great sophistication, Donna Jackson has produced an impressive volume. A must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of US foreign policy during the Cold War era." - Steven Casey, author of The War Beat Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany.

"US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa provides a comprehensive analysis of American policy toward a little-examined and little-understood region of the world from the Cold War to the Somali revolutions of the 1990s. An important and useful volume that serious students of foreign policy should read and utilize. Highly recommended for its careful and detailed historical account." - James M. McCormick, Iowa State University, USA

"For far too long Ethiopia and Somalia have been written into other histories. In US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa Jackson brilliantly situates the particularities of the region within the broader dimensions of colonialism, Cold War, and terrorism. Though the book primarily considers the period of the Cold War and after, the legacies of 1884 and the divisions of the continent are never deep beneath the surface. Jackson provides the first sustained focus on the region in US foreign policy, situating the story of ‘human tragedy’ within the global and the regional dimensions. Jackson’s work is perceptive, well-written, and based on a deep reading of a multiplicity of archives. Hitherto comparatively overlooked, the story of the Horn of Africa illuminates many aspects of US foreign policy from Cold War illusions, to regional conflicts through to the violence and terrorism that continues to plague the strategic region." - Professor David Ryan, Chair Modern History, University College Cork, Ireland

US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa: From Colonialism to Terrorism, by Donna Rose Jackson is published by Routledge, as part of the Routledge Studies in Foreign Policy series, which sets out to publish high quality works by leading and emerging scholars engaging critically with United States Foreign Policy. Copies of the book can be bought at: www.routledge.com/US-Foreign-Policy-in-The-Horn-of-Africa-From-Colonialism-to-Terrorism/Jackson/p/book/9781138650794