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Grand aims and modest means: The parallel evolution of US and South African foreign policies towards Africa in the 1990s.

Hesse, Brian Joseph (2000) Grand aims and modest means: The parallel evolution of US and South African foreign policies towards Africa in the 1990s. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The United States is a global superpower at the heart of the international system; South Africa is a regional hegemon on a peripheral continent. Yet, despite the US and South Africa's disparate positions in the international order, this thesis illustrates that the foreign policies of each towards Africa in the 1990s evolved in parallel fashion through four comparable periods, ultimately becoming strikingly similar near the end of the decade. A central feature of this parallel evolution, and eventual congruence, was the correlation between 'grand aims' and 'modest means'. 'Grand aims' refers to the overarching tenets and doctrines that prevailed in US and South African foreign policies towards Africa. During the Cold War and apartheid eras (roughly from the 1950s until 1990), only two predominated (i.e., containment and security). In the 1990s, there were no less than ten. As noted above, such dynamism (over a comparably short period of less than a decade) was tied to the presence of 'modest means' - that is, the limited availability or limited utilisation of resources. In sum, the study argues that when modest means were imposed upon US and South African foreign policy makers, they were often forced to devise new grand aims. Yet even when modest means were willingly employed, this too resulted in the articulation of new grand aims, as actions and ends were made to correspond. In both cases, new foreign policy periods emerged as attention, efforts, and resources were re-prioritised. Modest means, therefore, were a force that not only shaped, but drove, the four-period parallel evolution of US and South African foreign policies towards Africa in the 1990s.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, South African Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2635

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