In This Review

Hard Right: The New White Power in South Africa
Hard Right: The New White Power in South Africa
By Johann Van Rooyen
I. B. Tauris, 1994, 236 pp.

Based on research from 1989 to 1993, this book offers a detailed analysis of South Africa's white right in the transition to democracy. The author surveys the origins of Afrikaner nationalism and white electoral politics in the 1980s but focuses on current fissures within the right wing and changing demands for self-determination. Unfortunately, the author has borrowed Donald Horowitz's approach in Ethnic Groups in Conflict, overdetermining Afrikaner ethnicity. Hence Rooyen argues that the white right acts irrationally for ethnic security, that current Afrikaner nationalism is permanent, and that the demand for an ethnically homogeneous volkstaat will have to be accommodated to avoid armed rebellion. He largely dismisses the social and economic pressures that may make ethnic identity and mobilization less relevant. -- Courtney Jung.