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Department 1

Africana Studies

Department 2



This article focuses on the dialogue diplomacy that Ivorian President Félix Houphouët-Boigny initiated in the late 1960s to engage apartheid South Africa. Although contemporary observers and subsequent scholars (have) derided the scheme as an act of acquiescence and even betrayal, I argue that Ivory Coast's dialogue diplomacy was neither accommodationist nor dependent on the prodding of neocolonial powers such as France. A Pan-Africanist extension of the home-grown neotraditional practice of Dialogue ivoirienne, the diplomatic initiative never got the backing of other African states. A close analysis of the Ivory Coast's maneuvers in the context of an increasing radicalization of the anti-apartheid movement sheds a new light on the complexity of the transnational politics to defeat apartheid.

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