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The United States, Decolonization, and the Education of Third World Elites

  • Corinna R. Unger
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Abstract

From the 1950s until the 1970s, educating elites in the decolonized world featured prominently in private and public American development policies.1 Large sums of money were invested into establishing universities, libraries, research institutes, and exchange programs to bring forth “the best and the brightest” of the newly independent Asian and African nations. As Dean Rusk, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, put it in 1955, initiating and supporting education measures in the decolonized regions was expected to play a role in determining

whether newly independent nations can erect a structure of government and public order under which peaceful development may proceed; whether public office can become a public trust, separate from private interest; whether national revolutions are to be diverted, by the colonial issue, away from their democratic base to become a source of energy and power for dictatorship; … whether they will be “open” societies, in the humanistic tradition of the West, or closed by dogma or ideology.2

Framed by modernization theory and Cold War liberalism, the support of elites through higher education seemed to offer a peaceful, constructive way of furthering indigenous as well as American interests in the context of decolonization and the Cold War.

Keywords

Rockefeller Foundation Ford Foundation African Nation Record Group American Foundation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Corinna R. Unger 2011

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  • Corinna R. Unger

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