Book Projects
The Ideological Scramble in Africa (1945-1966)

For most historians the salient feature of the Cold War outside of Europe was the violent interventionist strategy of modernization and counterinsurgency. However, it was only by the 1970s that proxy wars became central in Africa. In many ways the preceding era between 1945 and 1966 was more obsessed with the symbolic dimension of decolonization, turning Africa into the target of a renewed ideological scramble that changed the face of the Cold War in Africa.

Under review 2020




Matteo Grilli and Frank Gerits eds., Visions of African Unity (1930s – 2018), Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020

This edited collection seeks to bring together scholars from within Africa and outside of the continent to shed light on the long history of African unification. Surprising as it may be, despite the importance of the subject matters, the literature on continental unity is limited, and many aspects of this fundamental element of post-colonial African and International history still require analysis. 

Under contract, forthcomming 2021. More information on this website.


  • The Third World and Neoliberalism

  • Belgium and the Third World (1885-2015)

  • Competing Continental Agendas: European Integration and African Union through African Eyes (1945-1966)

This project seeks to disentangle the bonds that were create between the European Economic Community (EEC) and a first generation of African leaders who were debating the merits of African unification.

Awarded NRF of South Africa Innovation grant for this project in January 2016. See articles under publications.

  • The American Politics of Pity: How CARE created the Industry of Suffering, 1960s-1970s.


The ‘American Politics of Pity’ explores the cooperation and competition among non-governmental development agency, CARE, religious organizations, trade unions and state-run foreign aid agencies from 1961 to 1975 within the context of a dwindling belief in modernization and the advent of dependency theory.

Research started at NYU in 2015. See articles under publications.  +32475291246


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