Saving Apartheid: Trans-Atlantic Whiteness in the U.S.-South African Relationship, 1980-1994


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




As global anti-apartheid sentiment grew throughout the 1980s, a powerful countermovement emerged, consisting of religious, political, and economic actors invested in preserving white rule in South Africa. This project is the first examination of the US “pro-apartheid” movement’s influence in South Africa. By mapping a transnational network of white supremacist and terrorist organizations, “Saving Apartheid” argues that US white power groups were central in the maintenance of apartheid. Combining political, intellectual, and religious history, it analyzes how the transnational anti-apartheid movement and mainstream conservative opposition to apartheid pushed white power groups in the US and South Africa to seek validation outside their domestic political arenas. Yet, the transatlantic alliance proved tenuous, as pro-apartheid actors disagreed on the ideas and strategies undergirding their white supremacist vision. “Saving Apartheid” reveals the globalized ecosystem of white supremacist movements, weaving together narratives of state and non-state actors to show the barriers to international reform.