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South African foreign relations with Angola, 1975-1988 : a structural realist perspective

By L J D Devraun

Abstract

Bibliography: leaves 176-202.There are an enormous number of competing interpretations of South Africa's apartheid era policies both in the region and towards Angola. With South Africa's role in the Angolan civil war as its case study, this paper evaluates the relative utility of certain selected approaches to international relations theory. This paper evaluates the relative utility of system level versus unit level theories to explain the nature of South African involvement in the Angolan conflict. These two categories are represented by nee-realist structural theory and, secondly, by a variety of unit level theories typically concerned with South Africa's domestic environment. This dissertation demonstrates, through the actual events, the utility of these two distinct theoretical approaches. Given the above approach and objectives, the methodology consists firstly of a critical conceptual review and analysis of each paradigm as a useful explanation of South African foreign relations. It consists secondly, of a more "empirical" assessment of their value in accounting for or illuminating significant aspects of the internal and external sources of motivation for South Africa's military intervention. The empirical evidence is examined according to four stages: firstly; a review of the related literature, secondly; South Africa's initial intervention and the presence of US aid in 1975, thirdly; the widening of the conflict post 1978 under P. W. Botha, and fourthly; the departure of all the major foreign influences and final resolution of the Angolan conflict. This exercise extends until 1988 which, in December of that year, witnessed the cessation of all external intervention. The conclusion recommends further research in the form of empirical case studies which consider both the application of international relations theory as well as the military dimension of the conflict

Topics: International Relations
Publisher: Department of Political Studies
Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:open.uct.ac.za:11427/13877

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