Books by Heribert Adam

Released: July 1, 1993

From Canadian husband-and-wife sociologists Adam (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver) and Moodley (University of British Columbia): a nonpartisan and nuanced look at the ``various competing forces'' now shaping post-apartheid South Africa. Adam and Moodley also coauthored South Africa without Apartheid (1986). Much of the analysis here attempts to address the stereotypes of both left and right that failed to explain the ``miracle'' that led to South Africa's current multiparty negotiations—or to account for the continuing violence. The authors note that neither the revolutionary nor the reformist agenda anticipated that the country would be transformed by these negotiations—negotiations ``that grant all major forces a stake in a historic compromise, by which each party stands to gain more than it would lose by continuing the confrontation.'' The result will probably be an ANC government working with a strong multiracial Nationalist Party to create broad-based policies. But such a compromise, Adam and Moodley warn, may well exacerbate South Africa's increasing divide along economic rather than racial lines as these two urban-based political parties control the spoils. The authors contend that it's this divide between the haves and the have-nots—between the urban areas and the rural—that's basically responsible for the current escalating violence. Tribal identity, they say, isn't as important as economic disparities, enormous unemployment among unskilled migrant workers, and the pervasive feeling among this group that their situation has deteriorated rather than improved with the ending of apartheid. Adam and Moodley analyze the various parties; the Communist agenda; the role of the unions; and the potential for disruption by either the far right or the left. As to the future, they're somewhat sanguine: A Yugoslavia or Lebanon type of scenario seems unlikely if the present cautious cooperation and ``remarkable pragmatic rationalism'' continue. For South Africa watchers: a timely, informative, and thoughtful appraisal. Read full book review >