A succinct, factual report on the constituents of the South African dynamic--peoples, institutions, stress points--through the year of wary government reappraisal, 1979. Professor Carter (Political Science, Univ. of Indiana) made her first visit to South Africa in 1948 and her latest, a two-month stay, in early '79; as a productive scholar (From Protest to Challenge, among others), she's thoroughly conversant with the literature. But, like everyone else, she doesn't know the answer to the title question: she knows only that the conflict between Afrikaner nationalism and African nationalism has sharpened. And, like others of a liberal persuasion, she's constitutionally inclined to look for signs of a peaceful resolution. On what's happened-up-to-now, though, she's not deluded. Here she first reviews the history of Afrikaner nationalism and its expression in the doctrine of ""separate development""--which aimed to do for Africans what Afrikaners had done of their own volition (and, in practice, served Afrikaner needs under cover of serving African interests). She examines the resultant ""homelands""--fragmented ""tribal"" reserves, already overcrowded and impoverished, where Africans are being forcibly resettled--and notes that when a ""homeland"" accepts independence, all blacks of that particular ethnic strain, wherever domiciled, lose their South African citizenship. She underlines the opposition to the homelands--and those who, like Kwa-Zulu leader Buthelezi, administer them--of radicalized urban blacks. That split, along with the chances of healing it, is a major theme. The second is the effort of the new Botha regime to ease the strictures of apartheid sufficiently to meet the demands of business, domestic and international, and establish a stable, pliant black bourgeoisie--in the interests, at least, of buying time. And she indicates the role of the white opposition parties, the Coloured and the Indians, the press, trade unions, and churches--along with domestic and foreign security considerations--in these developments. It's the spectrum of carefully weighed information that makes this of potential value to students, journalists, diplomats, businessmen; the book that demands attention, though, is Peter Dreyer's Martyrs and Fanatics (below).