In this transnational account of black protest, Nicholas Grant examines how African Americans engaged with, supported, and were inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Bringing black activism into conversation with the foreign policy of both the U.S. and South African governments, this study questions the dominant perception that U.S.-centered anticommunism decimated black international activism. Instead, by tracing the considerable amount of time, money, and effort the state invested into responding to black international criticism, Grant outlines the extent to which the U.S. and South African governments were forced to reshape and occasionally reconsider their racial policies in the Cold War world. This study shows how African Americans and black South Africans navigated transnationally organized state repression in ways that challenged white supremacy on both sides of the Atlantic. The political and cultural ties that they forged during the 1940s and 1950s are testament to the insistence of black activists in both countries that the struggle against apartheid and Jim Crow were intimately interconnected.
The contemporary human rights movement holds up Nuremberg as a template with which to define responsibility for mass violence. I argue that the negotiations that ended apartheid—the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA)— provide the raw material for a critique of the “lessons of Nuremberg.” Whereas Nuremberg shaped a notion of justice as criminal justice, CODESA calls on us to think of justice as primarily political. CODESA shed the zero-sum logic of criminal justice for the inclusive nature of political justice. If the former accents victims’ justice, the latter prioritizes survivors’ justice. If Nuremberg has been ideologized as a paradigm, the end of apartheid has been exceptionalized as an improbable outcome produced by the exceptional personality of Nelson Mandela. This essay argues for the core relevance of the South African transition for ending civil wars in the rest of Africa.
‘The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: An Annotated Bibliography’ is a much-needed reference work for those who are studying and pursuing the outcomes of Truth Commissions around the world. However, it is also a valuable tool for all researchers from diverse disciplines. For example, those specialising in the fields of sociology, political science, and literature will find material that appeals and is relevant to their areas of research. There is little doubt that students and researchers pursuing courses such as Conflict Resolution, Good Governance and International Relations would find this compilation more than beneficial since it covers not only an assortment of themes but it also includes ingenious cartoons by the famous Zapiro and memorable photographs by George Hallet. In addition, the compiler also inserted a select number of poems that dealt with the issues and themes related to the TRC process.
Case studies, theories, and examples from Africa are exceedingly rare in international relations. Indeed, examples from Africa
are, at best, valued for their nuisance potential. This article argues that the study of international relations is limited by this interpretation of Africa, and by a larger ignorance of African contributions. Key debates on the African continent surrounding the central concepts of mainstream international relations, including the state, power, and self-determination, are interrogated with a view to expanding their use in contemporary international relations. The examples of apartheid South Africa, the African debate on political economy and development, and African perspectives on questions raised by the liberal paradigm, are used to illustrate the importance of the region to the more global discourses. In examining the important contribution of African scholarship to debates central to international relations, this article highlights the necessity for engaging African scholars in the broader discourses of international relations.