Mao’s new democracy and Ghana’s foreign policy change in 1983
AbstractFlight Lieutenant John Rawlings took power by a coup d’état accusing the previous Limann regime of being neo-colonialist and being a slave of imperialists in 1981. When he took power, he was mainly supported by radical leftists and Ghana’s foreign policy leant towards socialist countries. However, two years later the regime drastically reversed its foreign policy towards the West. The paper focuses on the foreign policy change in 1983 and takes a close look at the role of Maoism on the elite in the foreign policy change in Ghana. During the first two years of the Rawlings regime, the June Forth Movement (JFM) and the New Democratic Movement (NDM) were two main elite groups in the regime. Even though the JFM and the NDM shared the same goal of socialism, the two groups had different visions on how to reach to the goal. The JFM sought rapid socialism through attacking the rich and severing international links with imperialist countries. On the other hand, for the NDM, which was influenced by Mao’s “New Democracy” as the name indicates, embracement of the rich business people and international players were on its path to the ultimate socialism. In the middle of the ideological conflicts between the two, Rawlings severed the link with the JFM whose leaders turned out to be threats to survival of the regime, and in the process the NDM emerged as the single influential power group. The NDM and Rawlings turned Ghana’s foreign policy toward the West and sought for aid from the Bretton Woods institutions in 1983.
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