Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Department of Political Science

First Advisor



The main concern of this dissertation is to determine the impact of dependency on Zaire's foreign policy. The study is premised on the notion that any serious inquiry on the foreign policies of peripheral countries like Zaire, can be coherent if sufficient attention is paid to the structure of their political economy. In this context, the paradigm of dependency which lays bare the economic structure of peripheral states, is used in order to grasp the foreign policy of Zaire. The dissertation raises the question as to the extent to which dependency determines the course of Zaire's foreign policy. By way of hypothesis, it is argued that the class alliance existing between the Zairean ruling class and foreign capital has prevented Zaire from pursuing an independent militant foreign policy based on the principles of non-alignment. Through the application of the historical materialist method, the different material forces which shape the historical evolution of Zaire have been thoroughly analyzed. Since the study shows that the survival of the Zairean ruling class depends on the support of foreign forces, it is quite evident that the relationship between the Zairean state and foreign capital has a "dominant-dependent" character. Therefore, the dissertation concludes by inference or deduction that dependency impacts on Zaire's foreign policy. Hence, the author calls for a radical change in Zaire's economic structure and the establishment of new institutional arrangements in order to get rid of dependency. In this author's view, the eradication of dependency is a sine qua non condition toward the pursuit of an independent foreign policy.