South Africa and the New Scramble: The Demise of Sub-imperialism and the Rise of the East

  • William G. MartinEmail author
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


This chapter argues that South Africa today cannot be considered a sub-imperialist state, despite its economic weight in Africa and Southern Africa, in particular. The question is how South Africa’s relationship with Northern states and its African neighbours is changing in its reorientation to the East. The chapter discusses the different theoretical conceptions applied to South Africa, before assessing South Africa’s historical and current power across the region and continent, empirically and historically. It is argued that South Africa has undergone transformations that are distinct from other semi-peripheral states. Furthermore, it is argued that the declining importance of the North and the creation of new networks of accumulation orienting the region and South Africa towards the East present new tendencies and conceptual anomalies.


South Africa Sub-imperialism Scramble ‘Look East’ BRICS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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