An African Volk: The Apartheid Regime and its Search for Survival

ISBN : 9780190274832

Jamie Miller
464 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Nov 2016
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The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy. Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions. At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.


Glossary of Afrikaans Terms

Part I: From Control to Opportunity
Ch 1 'We Are Not Europeans': Ideology and Identity in Pretoria's Golden Age
Ch 2 Into Africa: The Outward Policy
Ch 3 'We Must Stay Prepared': Reimagining the White Redoubt
Ch 4 In Search of Detente: Negotiating a Transfer of Power in Rhodesia

Part II: From Challenge to Crisis
Ch 5 Mission Creep: South Africa's Intervention in the Angolan Civil War
Ch 6 The Post Mortem: Lessons from Angola
Ch 7 Dr. Kissinger, I Presume?: The 1976 Initiatives

Part III: From Collapse to Reconstruction
Ch 8 A New Roadmap: The Development of Total Strategy
Ch 9 If you say change, I'll say I can't: A New Vision

Note on Sources
Archival Abbreviations

About the author: 

Jamie Miller is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and has held fellowships at Yale University and Cornell University.

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