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Assessing asymmetry in international politics: US-South Africa relations: 1994-2008

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dc.contributor.advisor Hoeane, T.
dc.contributor.advisor Van Wyk, J. K.
dc.contributor.author Firsing, Scott T.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-13T09:30:32Z
dc.date.available 2011-09-13T09:30:32Z
dc.date.issued 2011-09-13
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/4743
dc.description.abstract When the new South African government took power in 1994, the United States (US) pictured a bright future with a strategic country. They envisioned a strong partnership in political, economic and security realms. Although the US has consistently labeled their bilateral relationship with South Africa as ‘excellent,’ government officials from both countries at the end of 2008 expressed concern about the perceived crisis that US-South African relations was in. Against this backdrop, this thesis explores the bilateral relationship between the US, a global power, and South Africa, a regional power, assessing the key issues from 1994-2008. This thesis attempts to achieve an understanding of the relationship by using a new paradigm developed by Professor Brantly Womack of the University of Virginia (US), entitled asymmetry theory. His theory, which was developed after decades of studying the political landscape between states in Southeast Asia, addresses the effects of national disparities on asymmetric bilateral relationships. This thesis breaks new ground by testing Womack’s asymmetry theory in relation to the US and South Africa, two countries located outside the continent of Asia. Moreover, this is the first study where the theory has been applied to a relationship between a global and regional power. This thesis argues that there was a considerable downward swing in US-South African relations during the Bush Administration due to the confliction of several vital principles in each country’s foreign policy, the structural implications of asymmetry, and the lack of an institution were US and South African government officials could quickly communicate to clarify any disputes or misperceptions that may have arisen. This thesis argues that the bilateral relationship has changed from normalization to normalcy throughout the time period although there are still significant hurdles to overcome in the future. Additionally, this thesis argues that the value of asymmetry theory has proven itself in its illumination of the dynamics of the relationship. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (359 p.)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject International relations en
dc.subject Foreign policy en
dc.subject United States en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.subject Asymmetry theory en
dc.subject Diplomacy en
dc.subject Political behavior en
dc.subject Political analysis en
dc.subject Presidency en
dc.subject.ddc 327
dc.subject.lcsh International relations -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh International relations -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh United States -- Foreign policy
dc.subject.lcsh South Africa -- Foreign policy
dc.subject.lcsh Diplomacy -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Diplomacy -- United States
dc.title Assessing asymmetry in international politics: US-South Africa relations: 1994-2008 en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Political Sciences
dc.description.degree D. Litt. et Phil. (International Politics)


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