Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Sub-imperialism in crisis? : South Africa's government-business-media complex and the geographies of resistance
Author: van der Merwe, Justin Daniel Sean
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This study develops a geographic theory relating to sub-imperial states and resistance to them. The theory is centred on what can be called the government-business-media (GBM) complex, whilst resistance to such states is characterised as counter-imperialist discourses. The theory is applied primarily to South Africa’s (SA’s) interactions with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The aim is to assess the state of SA’s sub-imperialism and evaluate the claim that this sub-imperialism is in crisis. The research findings are based on media material drawn from, and interviews conducted in, Botswana, Zambia and SA. The thesis outlines how sub-imperialism should be regarded as a distinct analytical and theoretical phenomenon. It explores the theoretical context in which the GBM complex and counter-imperialist discourses may be viewed. Using this theoretical framework, the study then traces the historical geographical development of SA’s GBM complex. Building on this, the thesis identifies and examines regional responses and attitudes to SA’s post-apartheid political, business and cultural-media engagement with the region, by analysing counter-imperialist discourses to SA during this period. In order to assess the current state of SA’s sub-imperialism, case studies were taken from the following four areas which cover crucial aspects of SA’s post-apartheid engagement with the region: SA’s parastatal expansion (Eskom); SA’s peacemaking role (Zimbabwe); SA’s state-driven rhetoric of multiculturalism and tolerance (xenophobia); and SA’s hosting of mega-events (2010 Football World Cup). In each of these areas the intended geopolitical and geoeconomic discourses of the GBM complex, and the corresponding responses in the region, are investigated. It is concluded that there is a discrepancy between the intended discourses of the GBM complex and the responses from the region, giving rise to counter-imperialist discourses. These discourses support the claim that SA’s sub-imperialism is in crisis.
Supervisor: Lemon, Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography ; Africa ; Human Geography ; Political Geography ; Imperial Geopolitics ; Geopolitics ; Global South ; Regional Studies ; Southern Africa ; South African Politics