External Pressure for Change in South and Southern Africa

  • Peter Vale


It has become a cliche to suggest that international relations are undergoing paradigmatic shifts. And yet, no effort to comprehend contemporary affairs can divorce itself from the hard truth that comfortable assumptions about the world have been overturned by the events which began in Eastern Europe in the Autumn of 1989.


International Relation National Party Constructive Engagement Political Reconciliation Hard Truth 
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  1. 1.
    This is literature drawn together in J.A. Kalley, Pressure on Pretoria: Sanctions, Boycotts and the Divestment/Disinvestment Issue, 1964–1988, Johannesburg: SAIIA Bibliographical Series, no 17, 1988, p. 299.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, D.J. Geldenhuys, Internationale Isolasie: Suid-Afrika in Vergelykende perspektief Johannesburg: Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, 1985, p. 106.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    In the post-war case, deepening international pressure compelled a relaxed General Smuts and a furtive Dr Malan to hide behind the close British link. The three adjectives are deliberately chosen, Smuts was comfortable with the British and clearly did not recognise that it was the very nearness of this link which may have cost him the 1948 election. For his part, Dr Malan patently understood the ambiguity — to use a euphemism — which his supporters felt towards the British in particular. The closeness of the links, however, is most interesting. The United Kingdom was both anxious about its colonial policy and fearful of antagonising the South African government, especially after 1948. Accordingly, London went to some lengths to protect South Africa in the international community. See J.E. Spence, The Strategic Significance of South Africa, London: Royal United Services Institution, 1970, pp. 10–11.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See, inter alia, S. Marks and A. Atmore (eds), economy and Society in South Africa, London: Longman, 1980, p. 385Google Scholar
  5. B. Setai, The Political economy of South Africa: The Making of Poverty, Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1977, p. 200Google Scholar
  6. A. Stadler, The Political economy of Modern South Africa, London: Croom Helm, 1987.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    R. H. Chilcote, ‘Politics in Portugal and her empire’, The World Today, 19(9), 1961, pp. 376–7.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    A. Buchan, Change without War: The Shifting Structure of World Power, London: Chatto & Windus, 1974, p. 18.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    See the contributions to M. Orkin (ed.), Sanctions Against South Africa, Cape Town: David Philip, 1989.Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    See the debate prompted by Joe Slovo’s paper, ‘Has Socialism Failed?’, p. 27 (mimeo); M. Frost, ‘Joe Slovo and the Fate of Communism’, South Africa Foundation Review, 16 (5), May 1990, p. 3Google Scholar
  11. L. Schlemmer, ‘Mixed Signals: The Nationalisation Debates’, Indicator SA, 7 (2), Autumn 1990, pp. 17–21Google Scholar
  12. H. Adam, ‘eastern europe and South African Socialism: engaging Joe Slovo’, South Africa International, 21 (1), July 1990, pp. 27–35Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

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  • Peter Vale

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