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Creating a Commonwealth security culture? State-building and the international politics of security assistance in Tanzania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Early online date15 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2020


King's Authors


While numerous studies have examined Tanzania’s political, economic and social development either side of independence, the development of its security sector and its interaction with external actors within this context is not well understood. This partly reflects case-specific methodological challenges, tackled here through multiple overseas sources, but also the relative absence of research on intelligence and security communities in the Global South more generally. Approaching this lacunae head on, this article draws on security assistance literature related to ‘patron-client relations’ and ‘principal-agent’ theory to trace the nature and impact of limited British security assistance pre-independence, before demonstrating how and why significant change characterised Tanzania’s increasingly politicised and unstable security sector and its key international liaison partners post-independence. These changes would quickly end British hopes of integrating Tanzania into a ‘Commonwealth security culture’ of friendly post-colonial states, with Tanzania charting its own non-aligned path through a competition of Cold War patrons.

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