Honors College Theses

Publication Date



History (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Cathy Skidmore-Hess


Apartheid South Africa represented a paradox as a US ally and human rights pariah. “Genocide Masquerading” uncovers the implications of US foreign policy on the rise and decline of apartheid, looking specifically at the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and the 1976 Soweto Uprising. By comparing Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, and Carter foreign policy responses, this thesis creates a comparative analysis of how effective, or ineffective, the United States was during pivotal moments in apartheid history. This thesis will not only expand on the developing South African literature but add to the conversation of international aid, diplomacy practices, and North-South relationships.

Thesis Summary

"Genocide Masquerading" looks at US foreign policy responses two pivotal events in South African apartheid history in a comparative analysis and reflects on the implications of US action versus inaction in the rise and fall of apartheid.