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Gordian KnotApartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order$
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Ryan M. Irwin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199855612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199855612.001.0001

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Looking Outward

Looking Outward

(p.152) 6 Looking Outward
Gordian Knot

Ryan M. Irwin

Oxford University Press

Divided into three sections, this chapter explains how the apartheid debate changed during the late 1960s. The first section opens by looking at the murder of South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, and explains how new Prime Minister John Vorster implemented his “outward policy” of building economic relations with moderate African leaders. The second section turns attention to the Richard Nixon administration and highlights the way his White House eliminated African expectations at the United Nations. The third section then shifts to the African National Congress and unpacks how it rehabilitated its role as the voice of nonwhite South Africa through diplomacy in the Third World and among nongovernmental organizations in Europe and the United States. These three changes reflected the new dynamics of the 1970s—an era marked by individualistic cynicism rather than postcolonial optimism—and pointed toward a fundamentally different type of anti-apartheid movement.

Keywords:   Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, détente, John Vorster, Apartheid, Oliver Tambo, African National Congress, Morogoro, Soviet Union

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