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New Voices - Creating a Commonwealth security culture? State-building and the international politics of security assistance in Tanzania, 1955-65

Strand Campus , London

11 Jul new v

Creating a Commonwealth security culture? State-building and the international politics of security assistance in Tanzania, 1955-65

Critics and supporters of British security assistance in the post-9/11 era have neglected long-term continuities from the colonial and Cold War eras of similar engagement across the Global South. This paper represents a pilot case study for a much wider-ranging project examining the aims, interests and impacts of British security assistance since 1945, under review for UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship grant funding. While numerous studies have examined Tanzania’s political, economic and social development either side of independence, the development of its security sector and the impact of external actors on this development is not well understood. This partly reflects case-specific methodological challenges, tackled here through multiple overseas sources, but also the dearth of research on intelligence and security communities in Africa and the wider Global South more generally.

This paper draws on security assistance concepts of patron-client and principal-agent relations to trace the aims, nature and impact of limited British security assistance pre-independence. It then demonstrates how and why significant change characterised Tanzania’s increasingly politicised and unstable security sector and its key international liaison partners during the transition and post-independence period, examining the alignment of actors interests and the extent to which this change was driven more by internal or external actor variables. These changes would quickly end British hopes of integrating Tanzania into a ‘Commonwealth security culture’ of friendly post-colonial security sectors, with Tanzania’s reforming apparatus charting its own non-aligned path through a competition of Cold War sponsors.

Dr Thomas Maguire is a Teaching Fellow in the King’s Intelligence & Security Group at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and a Research Fellow at Darwin College and the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge. Tom is also a co-convenor of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar and teaches on the Cambridge Security Initiative’s International Security and Intelligence (ISI) specialist short-course.

He received his PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge. Awarded the Lisa Smirl Prize for best thesis in his year, his research forms the basis for a forthcoming monograph with Oxford University Press, The intelligence-propaganda nexus: British and American covert action in Cold War Southeast Asia, 1948-1963. In concert with the FCO’s National Security Research Group, Tom’s main ongoing project is examining the impact of British security assistance on the development of state security sectors in the Global South since 1945. From 2014-15, Tom was the John Garnett Visiting Fellow within the National Security & Resilience Studies programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), focusing on conflict, violent extremism and organised crime in East Africa. He also holds an MPhil in International Relations from POLIS and a BA (Hons) in History from Durham University.


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