"Portugal não é um país pequeno": O Fim do Império Colonial Português numa Perspectiva Comparada

"Portugal não é um país pequeno": O Fim do Império Colonial Português numa Perspectiva Comparada

Using a multidisciplinary, multidimensional and comparative methodological and analytical framework with a strong empirical commitment, this collective innovative historical research project aims to understand the end of the Portuguese colonial empire. The historical processes that led to the dissolution of the Portuguese colonial empire, as well as those which supported a resilient resistance to the winds of change, will be scrutinized by a combined analysis of international factors (e.g. the effects of the change in the international regime or of the bipolarization of the international system), metropolitan dimensions (e.g. the nature and the functioning of the political regime and the formulation of its African policies) and, to a lesser extent, colonial aspects (e.g. the emergence of political liberation movements and thespecificities of the colonial state and administration).

Although focused on the Portuguese historical experience, this project nevertheless aims to widen the framework of analysis and participate and contribute to the development of an international research agenda. On one hand, a comparative evaluation of the Portuguese decolonization trajectories in relation with the overall framework of international relations and post-II World War geopolitics (in an Atlantic and European perspective), with the specifics of domestic politics and of colonial contexts, will be pursued. On the other, the placement of the Portuguese case within the global patterns of decolonization, with a special emphasis in the African continent, will be a constant drive of this collective endeavour. Both are fundamental goals of this research.

Accordingly, this collective research will be based on partial enquiries focusing on the ways in which interimperial and interstate diplomacy affected and was conditioned by metropolitan and colonial events and processes, on the international resonances and determinants of the developments of Portuguese metropolitan and colonial politics and policies and on their mutual constitution, among others.

These research efforts will be anchored in a strong empirical commitment, with a view to overcome one of the main debilities of the existing studies on this major contemporary historical process. The uncovering and use of new sources and the related formulation of new hypotheses and arguments will certainly contribute to an enhanced approach to Portuguese, European and international history. A significant number of archives (national and international) will be examined and, with the equally intensive use of secondary literature and sources (national and international), will provide the fundamental basis of the partial enquiries that compose our collective venture.

This research project gathers nine scholars in different stages of their academic trajectory that made, to a varying degree, a considerable contribution to the

establishment of a highly promising field of decolonization studies in Portugal. The presence of some junior scholars will ensure its development in the years to come.

The participation as consultants of some of the major international experts on this field, such as William Roger Louis, Robert Frank and John Darwin, among others, will guarantee that the outcomes of this research project will be integrated within an international historiographical agenda that focuses on the comparative assessment of the end of European colonial empires.

Estatuto: 
Entidade proponente
Financiado: 
Não
Entidades: 
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Keywords: 

Descolonização; Imperialismo; Colonialismo; História Política e Internacional

Using a multidisciplinary, multidimensional and comparative methodological and analytical framework with a strong empirical commitment, this collective innovative historical research project aims to understand the end of the Portuguese colonial empire. The historical processes that led to the dissolution of the Portuguese colonial empire, as well as those which supported a resilient resistance to the winds of change, will be scrutinized by a combined analysis of international factors (e.g. the effects of the change in the international regime or of the bipolarization of the international system), metropolitan dimensions (e.g. the nature and the functioning of the political regime and the formulation of its African policies) and, to a lesser extent, colonial aspects (e.g. the emergence of political liberation movements and thespecificities of the colonial state and administration).

Although focused on the Portuguese historical experience, this project nevertheless aims to widen the framework of analysis and participate and contribute to the development of an international research agenda. On one hand, a comparative evaluation of the Portuguese decolonization trajectories in relation with the overall framework of international relations and post-II World War geopolitics (in an Atlantic and European perspective), with the specifics of domestic politics and of colonial contexts, will be pursued. On the other, the placement of the Portuguese case within the global patterns of decolonization, with a special emphasis in the African continent, will be a constant drive of this collective endeavour. Both are fundamental goals of this research.

Accordingly, this collective research will be based on partial enquiries focusing on the ways in which interimperial and interstate diplomacy affected and was conditioned by metropolitan and colonial events and processes, on the international resonances and determinants of the developments of Portuguese metropolitan and colonial politics and policies and on their mutual constitution, among others.

These research efforts will be anchored in a strong empirical commitment, with a view to overcome one of the main debilities of the existing studies on this major contemporary historical process. The uncovering and use of new sources and the related formulation of new hypotheses and arguments will certainly contribute to an enhanced approach to Portuguese, European and international history. A significant number of archives (national and international) will be examined and, with the equally intensive use of secondary literature and sources (national and international), will provide the fundamental basis of the partial enquiries that compose our collective venture.

This research project gathers nine scholars in different stages of their academic trajectory that made, to a varying degree, a considerable contribution to the

establishment of a highly promising field of decolonization studies in Portugal. The presence of some junior scholars will ensure its development in the years to come.

The participation as consultants of some of the major international experts on this field, such as William Roger Louis, Robert Frank and John Darwin, among others, will guarantee that the outcomes of this research project will be integrated within an international historiographical agenda that focuses on the comparative assessment of the end of European colonial empires.

Objectivos: 
As defined in the critical evaluation of the existing literature on the Portuguese decolonization, there are three main problems that need to be addressed and solved in order to improve our understanding of the fundamental explanatory factors that justified the resistance to decolonization and conditioned the nature and the timing of decolonization in itself. First, it is crucial to produce an integrated analysis of the role played by and of the interplay between domestic and international dimensions, and therefore resist the still prevailing monocausal and single-scale approaches and paradigms in national and international historiographies. <p>Second, it is vital to rescue the Portuguese decolonization from the widespread uncritical declaration of exceptionality, aspect that replicates other declarations of singularity attached to appraisals of early aspects of Portuguese colonial and imperial history. Only the placement of the Portuguese case in a comparative framework can sustain this analytical and methodological operation.</p><p>Finally, third aspect, as we have also stressed, it is fundamental to introduce a solid empirical substratum to our research undertaking. The emphasis on written or personal memoirs, on individual roles, on political or party rhetoric or in general ideological principles must be balanced with serious empirical research based on a widespread set of primary and secondary sources.</p>
State of the art: 
The decolonization phenomenon is still essentially assessed by two explicative and interpretative models: the metropolitan and the peripheral ones. The first one gives&nbsp; primacy to metropolitan socio-political calculus and decision-making processes as major explicative factors (Albertini 1971; Kahler 1984; Marseille 1984). The second one emphasizes colonial nationalism and socio-political mobilization processes in colonial contexts as fundamental causes propelling the end of colonial empires during the twentieth-century (Hodgkin 1957; Cooper 1996). European imperial and colonial collapse is explained as a by-product of both types of factors. The studies that address the dissolution of the Portuguese colonial empire, rarely incorporated in international decolonization studies, follow this tendency with few exceptions (Pinto 2001) and neglect international and transnational factors, merely mobilizing them in an effort to contextualize metropolitan or colonial events and processes (Macqueen 1997). <p>Simultaneously, the majority of studies about the end of colonial empires undervalue the need to formulate an analytical framework that integrates distinct several scales of analysis and that focuses more on their interrelation than on the search for a mono-causal primacy (for instance, the peripheral emphasis of Marcum 1969/1978 or Chabal, 1995, or the metropolitan stress of Macqueen 1997). Moreover, almost every study about the end of the Portuguese colonial empire reveals a weak empirical basis. As a result, side by side with the absence of a global and comparative perspective that aggregates levels and dimensions of analysis (for instance, the interplay between metropolitan or domestic and international factors, the major goal of this collective research) or confronts the Portuguese case with similar experiences, the existing historiography lacks a solid empirical foundation when addressing, to exemplify, the historical constitution of political and diplomatic decision-making processes by Portuguese political and ministerial elites regarding the international, metropolitan and colonial developments of imperial and colonial issues. The scrutiny of the causes and motivations of political decisions taken by the official mind either excludes external constrains (international or colonial), or reveals a feeble empirical support (Heinlein 2002).</p><p>This collective research aims to address and correct these three aspects, among others. On one hand, this research will analytically evaluate and empirically explore the role of international factors in decolonization, such as the new international organizations and normative regimes regarding the political legitimacy of imperial and colonial configurations (Wainhouse 1964; Luard 1982/1989; Goldstein&amp;Keohane 1993; Jackson 1993), the consolidation of the Cold War (Coker 1985; Westad 2005) or the effects of the changes in the interimperial and interstate diplomacy in colonial aspects (Louis 1977; Noer 1985; Fedorowich&amp;Thomas 2001; Schneidman 2005; Oliveira 2007). On the other, this research will assess the Portuguese case within global patterns of decolonization, comparing it to other cases and trajectories (Gifford&amp;Louis, 1982/1988; Holland 1985, 1994; Thomas et al. 2008), which will essentially include the British and the French decolonizing cases (Morris-Jones&amp;Fisher 1980; Betts 1991; Kent 1993; Darwin 2006; Hyam 2006). It will also explore the inter-relation between different scales of analysis (international, metropolitan and, to a lesser extent, colonial (Gifford&amp;Louis, 1988, intro.)) and between different explanatory factors (geopolitics and international relations; domestic politics and imperial policies; and African policies and the colonial situation). Finally, this research will carry its collective and particular enquiries in a rigorous empirical manner. An extensive and broad enquiry in Portuguese and foreign archives will sustain these efforts to understand the interplay between domestic or metropolitan and</p><p>international factors in what relates to Portuguese and European colonial venture and ultimate collapse and to understand the when, how and why the Portuguese regime formulated colonial policies and diplomatic strategies that aimed to resist the &quot;winds of change&quot;.</p><p>Some of these issues have already been tackled by some of the members of our research group. A. C. Pinto [ACP] has dealt with the interaction between the authoritarian nature of the Portuguese political system and resistance to decolonization, and also with the simultaneous nature of democratization and decolonization in the 1970s (Pinto 2001, 2003). L. N. Rodrigues [LNR] has worked on Portuguese diplomacy (mainly with the USA) during the period of the colonial wars (Rodrigues 2002). M. B. Jer&oacute;nimo [MBJ] has done a research on the European diplomacy of the new imperialism in the nineteenth-century and recently started one focused on the relationship between the system of colonial intelligence and the formulation of the Portuguese foreign policy on imperial issues (Jer&oacute;nimo 2008). P. A. Oliveira [PAO] assessed the role played by imperial issues in the development of Anglo-Portuguese diplomatic relations (Oliveira 2007). D. Marcos [DM] examined the French-Portuguese diplomatic and military relations during the Portuguese colonial wars (Marcos 2007). A. M. Fonseca [AMF] has worked on the West German support to the Portuguese colonial wars in the 1960s (Fonseca 2007). T. M. de S&aacute; [TMS] has worked on the Luso-American relations during Portuguese transition to democracy, including the African dimension of the problem (S&aacute;&amp;Gomes 2008). M. Gon&ccedil;alves [MG] has recently started a PhD on the relations between imperial and national political and cultural discourses, in the Portuguese dictatorship (Gon&ccedil;alves, 2005). C. Silva [CS] has recently completed a MA thesis on the major administrative andideological transformations in the Ministry of Overseas during the New State (Silva, 2009).</p>
Parceria: 
Não Integrado
Ana Mónica Fonseca
Daniel Marcos
Pedro Oliveira
Luís Nuno Rodrigues
Carlos Manuel Baptista da Silva
Márcia Andrea Santos Gonçalves
Tiago da Mota Veiga Moreira de Sá
Coordenador 
Data Inicio: 
01/01/2010
Data Fim: 
01/12/2012
Duração: 
35 meses
Concluído