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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the singularities of Portuguese decolonization by contrasting Salazarist ideas of ‘lusotropicalism’ and ‘pluricontinentalism’ with the widespread turn to insurgent violence that heralded the rebellions of the early 1960s that ultimately tore the empire apart. If the term ‘decolonization’ is taken to imply a policy actively pursued by the colonial power, its use in relation to Portugal in 1974-75 may be problematic. Portugal’s loss of empire was an unplanned, largely unmanaged, yet utterly irresistible consequence of a military coup in Lisbon in April 1974. It was a process in which a series of weak and unstable provisional governments in Portugal could exercise little agency and were often reduced to hapless observers.

Keywords: Salazar, Lusophone, Lusotropicalism, Portuguese Empire, Angola, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau, Cabral, decolonization, war

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