Participants in a Currier House panel discussion on South Africa last night agreed that the United States lacks the power to impose a solution to South Africa's domestic conflict on the Pretoria government.
About 50 people gathered to hear the discussion among Stanley H. Hoffman, Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France, Joseph M. Schwartz, a graduate student in the Government Department, and Andrew Lukhele, a holder of the master's degree from the Harvard Law School and refugee from South Africa. The discussion was moderated by South African exile Moses Nkondo, a visiting professor in the English Department.
"I don't think it is up to Americans or outsiders to draft solutions for the South Africans," Hoffman said. "It is with one's enemies that one makes peace," he said, arguing against third parties intervening in South Africa's crisis.
But panelists agreed that economic sanctions might afford the U.S. some means of pressuring the apartheid state to implement reforms.
"Sanctions with bite clearly have influence," Schwartz said when asked about divestment.
"Sanctions are more effective than no sanctions at all," Hoffman said.