Read an extract from Southern Africa by Stephen Chan on Yale's blog" /> Read an extract from Southern Africa by Stephen Chan on Yale's blog" />

Southern Africa Old Treacheries and New Deceits Stephen Chan

Publication date:
15 Feb 2012
Yale University Press
320 pages: 229 x 152mm
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In this timely and essential book, Stephen Chan explores the political landscape of southern Africa, examining how it's poised to change over the next years and what the repercussions are likely to be across the continent. He focuses on three countries in particular: South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, all of which have remained interconnected since the end of colonialism and the overthrow of apartheid.

One of the key themes in the book is the relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe, and Chan sheds new light on the shared intellectual capacities and interests of the two countries' respective presidents, Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe. Along the way, the personalities and abilities of key players, such as Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, and former South African president Thabo Mbeki, emerge in honest and sometimes surprising detail. In Southern Africa, Chan draws on three decades of experience to provide the definitive inside guide to this complex region and offer insight on how the near future is likely to be a litmus test not just for this trio of countries but for all of Africa.


Read an extract from Southern Africa by Stephen Chan on Yale's blog

Stephen Chan is professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His many publications include Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence.

"Chan has the novelist’s eye and touch; that is what makes this book so readable. But it is also based on very sound scholarship….This is the work of an Africanist who loves and respects Africa, its people and culture….Chan tells it as it is, with pace, power and persuasion…. [The] best written – book about southern African politics in the last few decades."—Professor Paul Moorcraft, RUSI Journal

"The tensions of the region are some of the most complex in all Africa and this book brings them to light and makes an important contribution to an understanding of the region’s history."—North South

"Chan has written a highly readable narrative of the past 30 or so years. He combines strong analysis of what has happened – and why – with some thoughts on how relationships might develop. It is a book that is hard to put down as it is challenging and fascinating. His insights are invaluable, born of his intimate working knowledge of and presence in the region"—Andrew Dodgshon, Tribune

"Chan’s account of politics in Southern Africa provides a refreshing divergence from the typical news reports linking clashing agendas with rival politicians across the post-colonial landscape…..eloquent and well-written."—Astrid Wood, African Affairs

"An engaging, pacy read [which] convincingly meets its stated aim: the production of ‘an intelligent book for the non-specialist reader… Chan is excellent on the strength, range and tenacity of the links between [Zimbabwe and South Africa]… Within [this narrative] of the complex relations between two states and their societies is a nuanced and convincing sub-plot about the parts played by Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe… A well-informed account written with real verve." Colin Bundy, Journal of Modern African Studies

Watch the related video

Professor Stephen Chan speaking at the book launch for Southern Africa, which was held at the
Brunei Gallery Suite at SOAS in London, UK.

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