The political economy of South-South relations : the case of South Africa and Latin America
Many factors have inhibited the consolidation of relations between countries of the post-colonial world, the "South". This dissertation aims to explore some of these factors through focusing on a case study of the relations between South Africa and its neighbours across the South Atlantic. Despite naval and commercial hegemony of the British Empire in the South Atlantic region during the nineteenth century, trade proved minimal and South Africa played a limited role in assisting the indictment of the transatlantic slave trade. It was only during the Boer War (1899-1902) that South Africa became the destination of Argentine exports in large measure: frozen beef to meet the needs of British troops. With the end of the war, a significant Boer migration to Patagonia was encouraged by the Argentine government. This community served to cement relations with South Africa up to and including the time of its repatriation in the late 1930s. Brazil's participation in World War Two alongside the Allies opened the way further for relations with South Africa and support for its position inside the new postwar United Nations Organisation. Growing links with the Afro-Asian world did not deter Brazil's military rulers - in power from 1964-85 - from encouraging trade and substantial South African investment. As right-wing military rule swept the Latin American region in the 1960s and 70s, South Africa, by now extremely isolated diplomatically, found a number of friends. Moral and military collaboration from the regimes in the Southern Cone - especially Chile - proved very welcome in Pretoria. Its adversarial relationship with Cuba in the context of regional conflict in Southern Africa also proved important. With redemocratisation in both regions the nature of the relationship will require re-examination. However, in the context of largely dormant South-South relationships, it is unlikely to expand massively under current global conditions of debt, trade competition, and commercial and cultural barriers. Utilising methodological analysis drawn from disciplines of economic history, social history, foreign policy analysis and international political economy, this dissertation attempts to throw light on a rather neglected corner of international relations.