Interdependence in Southern Africa: an examination of the relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Mack, Natalie Diane.
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Most research on southern Africa focuses on the total dependency of the region's states--Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, zambia and Zimbabwe--upon the dominant power, South Africa. This thesis examines the relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe and argues that these two states are more interdependent than dependency scholars would acknowledge. Although a study of the historical period reveals that dependency theory, as defined by Raul Prebisch, Andre Gunder Frank and A. Valenzuela, is helpful for understanding the development of relations between the two states, it is unable to account for many of the characteristics of the relationship which are found in the contemporary context, especially since 1980. An examination of various economic areas of interaction, including investment, trade and transportation, as well as the political realm, indicates that each state exhibits a degree of dependence upon the other. Thus, it is possible to characterize the relationship as one of "mutual dependence," or interdependence as defined by Robert Keohane and Joseph S. Nye. Interdependence is further examined through the concepts of sensitivity and vulnerability. Sensitivity signifies the ability of a state to respond effectively to policy changes made by another state wi thin a given area of interaction without incurring large costs, while vulnerability denotes that an actor is unable to respond, or only at great cost. By applying these concepts to the relationship between Zimbabwe and South Africa, it is determined that although South Africa tends to be sensitive while Zimbabwe is generally vulnerable, the degrees to which these two states are sensi ti ve and vulnerable varies over time and issue area. As the changes wi thin South Africa start to affect relations wi th the rest of southern Africa, it wi 11 be necessary to understand the interaction between the states from an interdependency perspective if cooperation within the region wi 11 be successful. By appl ying an interdependence framework, this study aims at contributing to the understanding of relations among the countries of southern Africa in general, and between South Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.