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Department 1

Africana Studies

Department 2



Toward the end of the first decade after the decolonization of most African countries, there emerged a scholarly polemic about the weight of bureaucratic politics in the making of foreign policy in the Third World. A mirror of the reigning modernization paradigm that informed most postwar area studies and social sciences, the discussion unintentionally indexed the narcissism of a hegemonic discourse on political development and statecraft. Graham Allison and Morton Halperin—the original proponents of the bureaucratic model—implied in their largely U.S.-centric model that such a paradigm was not applicable to non-industrialized countries since the newly decolonized countries, for the most part, lacked the institutional/organizational base and political tradition needed to conduct a modern foreign policy. Félix Houphouët- Boigny—leader of the newly independent Ivory Coast—was hardly mentioned in the scholarly debates on the bureaucratic model. Yet one can use the conjuncture of his visit to the United States in May 1962 to explore the arguments developed by the protagonists in the polemic that ensued the publication of the Allison-Halperin theory.

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This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in the Diplomacy & Statecraft © Taylor & Francis, available online at