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    South Africa and the Aftermath of Portugal's ‘Exemplary’ Decolonization: The Security Dimension

    Ribeiro De Meneses, Filipe and McNamara, Robert (2013) South Africa and the Aftermath of Portugal's ‘Exemplary’ Decolonization: The Security Dimension. Portuguese Studies, 29 (2). pp. 227-250. ISSN 0267-5315

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    Allister Sparks, in his seminal study of Apartheid, The Mind of South Africa, writes: ‘though it occurred five thousand miles away among another people in another continent, in South Africa the Portuguese Revolution was an event of catalytic importance that changed the whole directional flow of public affairs’. 25 April 1974 was, for Sparks, a ‘simultaneous turning point at which the Afrikaner revolution created and entered a phase of crisis and decline, and at which the black revolution began its rise.’1 The end of the Salazar/Caetano New State, and the hurried decolonization that followed, would indeed alter dramatically the balance of power in southern Africa, but it took the decisionmakers in Pretoria time to realize this — time that they did not, in fact, possess. The purpose of this article is to examine the reaction of those decision-makers to the events in Lisbon and, of course, in Mozambique and Angola, and to show that there was no coordinated, over-arching response: like other regional powers, and even the superpowers, South Africa was caught off guard by the ‘Carnation Revolution’, and struggled, as the pace of developments increased, to identify precisely where its national interests lay, being hampered in its attempts by too great a confidence in its ability to survive the ongoing transformation of the region, and by internal power struggles.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Liberation movements; Apartheid; Political revolutions; Dams; Terrorism; Government; International relations; Military strategy; War; Communism; South Africa; Angola; Mozambique; Decolonization; Portugal; Postcolonialism; History; Revolutions;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 11501
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Filipe Ribeiro De Meneses
    Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 17:01
    Journal or Publication Title: Portuguese Studies
    Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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