Center for the History of Global Development

Frank Gerits

After staying at the Center in the fall of 2018, Frank Gerits remains an external fellow.

Frank Gerits is currently a Lecturer in the history of international relations at Utrecht University and a research fellow at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University (2015), a National Research Foundation Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow of the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa (2016) and a Lecturer in Conflict Studies at the University of Amsterdam (2017). He has published in international journals and is a senior editor for history, politics, IR and social science at the European Journal of American Studies.

His work focuses on the international history of Africa after 1945. He is currently finishing his book project, "The Ideological Scramble in Africa: How the Dream of African Development shaped a Continental Cold War (1945-1966)”. This multi-centric history, based on a wide range of African archives, traces how African decolonization and the response of Europe and the US changed the international system. It seeks to rethink the agency of African leaders by studying how Pan-Africanism became an interventionist ideology that rivalled Communist and Capitalist prescriptions for modernization.

Frank also studies how the Third World understood the European integration process while examining the role of Non-Governmental Organisations in post-war history.

He teaches the history of the postcolonial world, the cultural cold war and IR theory at Utrecht University. In Utrecht he co-founded the decolonisation group, an interdisciplinary gathering of researchers from the fields of history, law, economics and political science who want to explore how colonialism and decolonisation shaped and is still shaping global and academic issues. Through interdisciplinary workshops and public events it sees to refine students’ and the public’s understanding of decolonisation.