International Politics

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 765–781 | Cite as

Clash of pans: pan-Africanism and pan-Anglo-Saxonism and the global colour line, 1919–1945

  • Mark LedwidgeEmail author
  • Inderjeet Parmar
Original Article


The article demonstrates both conceptually and empirically that pan-Anglo-Saxonist knowledge networks reconstructed and reimagined an apparently de-racialised, scientific, sober and liberal world order that outwardly abandoned, but did not eradicate the twin phenomena of racism and imperialism. Rather the new liberal (imperial) internationalists, organised in newly formed “think tanks” such as Chatham House and the Council on Foreign Relations, and through their increasingly global elite networks, mounted a top-down battle for minds at home and in the wider world. Operating in state-private elite networks, they drove the movement to manage change and develop a new liberal world order particularly to contain pan-Africanists who combatted the domination and exploitation of Africans worldwide. More broadly, we indicate that the pragmatic response to the extremes of Nazi ideology and a countering movement from the cadres of Asian, African and African American intellectuals, anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles within the national and global context, forced the Anglo-centric elites to promote change, albeit limited.


Pan-Anglo-Saxonism Pan-Africanism Knowledge networks Elite power Racialisation Liberal imperial internationalism 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Department of International PoliticsCity, University of LondonLondonUK

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