Eugenics and the maintenance of white supremacy in modern South Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In modern South Africa, eugenists were primarily motivated by concerns about two major ‘race problems’ that threatened white supremacy in the newly unified British territory, from its beginning in 1910 until the demise of apartheid in 1994. The first was a quantity issue, namely whites’ fear of ‘swamping’ by the far larger subject black population, and the other was a quality issue, specifically the conviction that the white race was declining. Here Susanne M. Klausen explores how eugenists attempted to intervene in these two social problems during the political phases of segregation and apartheid. She argues that ultimately eugenics had much less impact than its adherents intended. Even at the height of its popularity and legitimacy, during the interwar era, eugenists had only limited success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEugenics at the Edges of Empire
Subtitle of host publicationNew Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319646862
ISBN (Print)9783319646855
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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