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Migration and National Identity in South Africa, 1860–2010

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  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107515239

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About the Authors
  • An extraordinary outbreak of xenophobic violence in May 2008 shocked South Africa, but hostility toward newcomers has a long history. Democratization has channeled such discontent into a non-racial nationalism that specifically targets foreign Africans as a threat to prosperity. Finding suitable governmental and societal responses requires a better understanding of the complex legacies of segregation that underpin current immigration policies and practices. Unfortunately, conventional wisdoms of path dependency promote excessive fatalism and ignore how much South Africa is a typical settler state. A century ago, its policy makers shared innovative ideas with Australia and Canada, and these peers, which now openly wrestle with their own racist past, merit renewed attention. As unpalatable as the comparison might be to contemporary advocates of multiculturalism, rethinking restrictions in South Africa can also offer lessons for reconciling competing claims of indigeneity through multiple levels of representation and rights.

    • A unique comparative and historical perspective on migration in settler states
    • The only holistic, cross-race and cross-class analysis of South African immigration history
    • Policy-relevant implications, informed by a cutting-edge conceptual framework
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    • Honourable Mention, 2015 Francesco Guicciardini Prize, Historical International Relations Section (HIST), International Studies Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    “A remarkable analysis of the fascinating story of South Africa’s ongoing struggles to deal with and adapt to a panoply of migrants. Drawing on theoretical insights from comparative migration studies and constructivist international relations, Klotz transcends conventional periodizations and makes adroit use of comparative cases to produce a richly textured study revealing both persistent continuities and the conditions for agency and change. In doing so, she provides important insights for the amelioration of xenophobic tendencies.” – David Black, Dalhousie University

    “Xenophobic violence against foreign migrants is a disturbing and ongoing feature of the ‘new’ South African politics. Audie Klotz provides a fine-grained analysis that explores the roots of this phenomenon. She shows that such xenophobia is not new to South Africa, but has emerged on a number of occasions over the past hundred years. Her analysis of the economic nationalism driving the violence is supplemented by a comparison of the experience of discrimination against foreign migrants found in the histories of Australia and Canada. She concludes with useful suggestions about policy directions that might be followed to ameliorate this violence.” – Mervyn Frost, King’s College London

    “Klotz gives us an original and compelling account of migration and citizenship policies in the British Commonwealth with a focus on nation- and state-building in South Africa. Her mastery of the sources and the sweep of her argument make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the political development of the Dominions.” – James F. Hollifield, Southern Methodist University

    “Like all states, South Africa was made by migration. This book is that story – theoretically subtle, historically informed, and empirically rich. It is an account of the making of the country like no other, and will surely become standard reading for every academic discipline in the Humanities and Social Sciences.” – Peter Vale, Professor of Humanities, University of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics Emeritus, Rhodes University

    “This book raises the bar in the field of migration politics. Klotz deploys her well-known penchant for methodological rigor and enviable theoretical chops to explain how states generate xenophobic violence. Along the way, she resolves the problem of South African exceptionalism, reconstitutes historical institutionalist theory and identifies – alarmingly – that the so-called liberal consensus on immigration is more fragile than we had thought. This is essential and valuable reading for anyone interested in questions of state formation, migration, and identity.” – Darshan Vigneswaran, University of Amsterdam

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107515239
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Historiographies of migration
    2. Asians and the ambiguity of imperial subjecthood
    3. Apartheid and the dilemma of African citizenship
    4. Refugees and the post-apartheid paradox of rights
    5. The end of exceptionalism.

  • Author

    Audie Klotz, Syracuse University, New York
    Audie Klotz is Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She received her PhD from Cornell University, and has taught at Haverford College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Stellenbosch University. Her first book, Norms in International Relations: The Struggle against Apartheid (1995), won the Furniss Prize in security studies. Her co-authored book, Research Strategies for Constructivist International Relations (2007), has been translated into Korean (2011). She is the co-editor of How Sanctions Work: Lessons from South Africa (1999) and Qualitative Methods in International Relations (2008). Funded by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation through the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright program, her work has also appeared in top-ranked journals such as International Organization, Review of International Studies, and the European Journal of International Relations. She co-edits the book series Palgrave Studies in International Relations.


    • Honourable Mention, 2015 Francesco Guicciardini Prize, Historical International Relations Section (HIST), International Studies Association

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