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South Africa in the African political economy: benevolent or selfish hegemon

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dc.contributor.author Haase, Nicole
dc.date.accessioned 2008-10-29T06:58:02Z
dc.date.available 2008-10-29T06:58:02Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10-29T06:58:02Z
dc.date.submitted 2004-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1372
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract On the African continent South Africa is unequivocally the economic and military giant. As the continental hegemon, the state has sought the reform of the unequal global economy in order to enhance the participation in the global political economy of all African countries. The South African government projects the discourse of African solidarity in driving global reforms, emphasising that such reforms will be of benefit to both the continent as a whole, and to the South African state. Within this context, it is the purpose of this dissertation to determine with greater clarity who stands to gain from South Africa’s efforts. In other words, is South Africa acting to acquire economic growth and development for Africa as a whole, or is the country primarily acting to secure its own wealth and power? In short, this study investigates whether South Africa – as the continental hegemon – is acting in a benevolent or selfish manner in its undertakings. The assessment of South Africa’s hegemony is presented in a theoretical schema constructed with a focus on the three main theories of international relations, namely liberalism, realism and structuralism. Each of these theories is employed descriptively as well as prescriptively as tools to evaluate the nature of the African political economy, and South African action versus rhetoric. Applying these conceptual lenses, South Africa’s position on three aspects of the African political economy are assessed and evaluated. These three areas of the political economy – trade, debt and foreign direct investment – serve as case studies revealing South Africa’s benevolence and/or selfishness. In brief, South Africa is pressing for the reform of the international financial architecture; rhetorically, the state seeks free trade and enhanced export opportunities for all African states; the country is urging foreign creditors to reduce Africa’s external debt; South African leaders have recommended that their counterparts establish an investor-friendly climate in Africa as a means to enhance foreign investments on the continent. South Africa’s actions have the potential to benefit the African continent as a whole, and simultaneously advance the state’s interests. The findings of this study point out that (a) each of the three theories can be utilised to describe South Africa’s rhetoric and actions, and (b) the essence of South Africa’s hegemony is neither entirely benevolent, nor exclusively selfish. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. D.J. Geldenhuys Mr. P.P. Fourie en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Hegemony South Africa en
dc.subject Hegemony Africa en
dc.subject International relations en
dc.subject Liberalism en
dc.subject Realism en
dc.subject Structuralism en
dc.title South Africa in the African political economy: benevolent or selfish hegemon en
dc.type Thesis en

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