Cold war constraints: France, west Germany and Portuguese decolonization

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This article analyses how the evolution of decolonization process during the Cold War constrained France and West Germany's support for Portuguese colonial policy. At a moment when the United States seemed unwilling to give any assistance, either political or military, to Portugal, Lisbon turned to its European NATO allies, with whom it deepened the political and military cooperation already developed within the Alliance's framework. France's General de Gaulle saw support for Portugal as a way to challenge the US leadership of the western alliance, while West Germany was mainly concerned with maintaining political stability in Portugal and the Western bloc. The article therefore contextualizes French and West German support for Portugal within major Cold War considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalPortuguese Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Cold war
  • Colonialism
  • France
  • Portugal
  • West Germany


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