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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Role of Non-Violent Action in the Downfall of Apartheid
Author:Zunes, Stephen
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
passive resistance
national liberation movements
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Abstract:Against enormous odds, nonviolent action proved to be a major factor in the downfall of apartheid and the establishment of a democratic black majority government in South Africa. The nonviolent resistance movement, which consisted of both internal resistance and solidarity work outside the country, was largely successful in its strategy, which avoided challenging the South African State where it was strong, and concentrated its attacks on where it was weak. This article traces the history of nonviolent resistance to apartheid, its initial failures, and the return in the 1980s to a largely nonviolent strategy which, together with international sanctions, forced the government to negotiate a peaceful transfer to majority rule. It shows that the success of the nonviolent movement was largely the result of conditions working against a successful armed overthrow of the system, combined with the ability of the antiapartheid opposition to take advantage of the system's economic dependence on a cooperative black labour force. Bibliogr., notes, sum.