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University of Chester lecturer's book lifts lid on American foreign policy in Africa

Dr Donna Jackson looks at the impact on the Horn of Africa, particularly during the Cold War

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(Image: UGC)

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.

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 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.”

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