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Sweden-Norway at the Berlin Conference 1884–85: History, national identity-making and Sweden's relations with Africa
The Nordic Africa Institute, Agrarian Change, Property and Resources.
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The image of Sweden is one of a small, democratic and peace-loving country without the moral burden of a colonial past. However, in this Current African Issues publication, the notion that Sweden lacks a colonial past in Africa is brought into question. At the Berlin Conference 1884–85, the rules for colonisation of Africa were agreed upon among a handful of white men. With the blessing of King Oscar II, the united kingdoms of Sweden-Norway participated in the Berlin conference, ratified the resulting convention and signed a trade agreement with King Leopold’s International Congo Association. Thereafter, hundreds of Swedish militaries, seamen and missionaries took an active part in the brutal colonial project in the Congo. What was Sweden-Norway really doing at the Berlin Conference and in the ensuing Scramble for Africa? Is it now time to re-assess Swedish identity in relation to Africa, an identity so far centered on colonial innocence? Dr DAVID NILSSON is a researcher at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. His research focuses on global longtermperspectives on sustainable development in Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2013. , 54 p.
Current African issues, ISSN 0280-2171 ; 53
Keyword [en]
Sweden, Africa, Foreign relations, Colonialism, International politics, Colonial history
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-1793ISBN: 978-91-7106-738-8OAI: diva2:650999
Available from: 2013-09-24 Created: 2013-09-24 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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