About the Book
A concise and accessible history of decolonization in the twentieth century
The end of colonial rule in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean was one of the most important and dramatic developments of the twentieth century. In the decades after World War II, dozens of new states emerged as actors in global politics. Imperial regimes collapsed, some more or less peacefully, others amid mass violence. This book takes an incisive look at decolonization and its long-term consequences, revealing it to be a coherent yet multidimensional process at the heart of modern history. Jan Jansen and Jürgen Osterhammel provide a comparative perspective on the decolonization process, shedding light on its key aspects while taking into account the unique regional and imperial contexts in which it unfolded. They examine the economic repercussions of decolonization and its impact on international power structures, its consequences for envisioning world order, and the long shadow it continues to cast over new states and former colonial powers alike.
Jan C. Jansen is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. Jürgen Osterhammel is professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Konstanz. His books include The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton).Jürgen Osterhammel is professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Konstanz. He is a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, Germany's most prestigious academic award. His books include The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century and, with Jan C. Jansen, Decolonization: A Short History (both Princeton). He lives in Freiburg, Germany.
“A succinct, highly accessible survey.”—Choice
“Impressive. Jansen and Osterhammel adroitly navigate both the individual stories of different countries and empires and the broader scholarly debates that encompass those stories. . . . A quintessential introduction to the end of empire.”—Jessica Lynne Pearson, H-France Review
“For those looking for a compact and lucid account of why decolonization occurred, and what it meant, this is the place to start.”—Krishan Kumar, Times Literary Supplement
“A rich synthesis.”—Michael Collins, EuropeNow
“A remarkably useful book. . . . The authors modestly describe it as a historical essay which is designed to be an introductory survey. That does not do justice to its strikingly thoughtful approach and the wealth of ideas that are compressed into its pages.”—John M. MacKenzie, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
“First-rate.”—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs