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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of Myths, Monsters and Money: Regime Conceptualisation and Theory in the Southern African Context
Author:Thompson, Lisa
Year:1991
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Volume:10
Issue:2
Pages:57-83
Language:English
Geographic terms:Southern Africa
South Africa
Subjects:political science
foreign policy
SADC
political systems
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Inter-African Relations
Abstract:This paper focuses on regime conceptualization and the relevance of international regime theory application in southern Africa. The proposition of regime theory is that basic causal variables, namely egoistic self-interest, political power, norms and principles, usage and custom, and knowledge give rise to regimes. In relation to the discussion of South Africa's role in the southern African region, mention is also made of hegemonic stability theory, particularly of two normative assumptions pertaining to the character of the hegemon in a regime. First, it is assumed that the hegemon acts in the long run interest of the regime as a whole; second, the hegemon is also frequently conceptualized as benevolent. However, these assumptions are dismissed as incorrect. The myth of the benevolent hegemon is central to the discussion of the regime theory in the context of southern Africa. Thus attention is paid to the coercive 'monsterish' characteristics of the dominant power, in this case South Africa, and the consequences these have for cooperation, stability and order in the region. The bottom line is that, although South Africa almost certainly will become a member of SADCC, this could, but will not necessarily, produce stability in the region in a rational utility sense. In other words, there could be a formally negotiated organization, but the patterns of behaviour will conform to those of the old regime which becomes less coercively imposed. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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