Apply Now

Our Researchers

Anna-Mart van Wyk

Executive Dean, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, and Adjunct Professor, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies

Email: anna-mart.vanwyk@monash.edu

Tel: +27 11 950 4075

Qualifications
  • BA(Ed), University of Pretoria, 1994.
  • BA (Hons) (History), University of Pretoria, 1995 (Cum Laude).
  • MA (History), University of Pretoria, 1999.
  • DPhil (History), University of Pretoria, 2005. Title:The 1977 United States arms embargo against South Africa: Institution and implementation to 1997. URL: http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01312005-150408/
Research Profile

South Africa’s nuclear history represents a unique case in the history of international arms control measures, non-proliferation and non-alignment. During the apartheid years, South Africa had developed 6.5 nuclear bombs as a deterrent to what the apartheid government perceived to be a communist threat to South Africa (in lieu of the presence of Cuban troops in Angola, supported by the former Soviet Union). In August 1989, former State President FW de Klerk and a handful of advisors took an unprecedented decision to destroy the entire arsenal, before acceding to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992. The dismantlement of the arsenal would be the beginning of a new era in South Africa’s nuclear history; after 1994, the post-apartheid government became a leader in promoting non-proliferation and disarmament.

Through the years, many questions have been raised as to the existence and extent of foreign collaboration vis-a-vis South Africa’s nuclear weapons programme. While undertaking research for my masters and doctoral studies at the University of Pretoria, I identified foreign collaboration in South Africa’s nuclear development as a particular gap in the historiography. After completing my doctoral study in 2005, my research focus shifted to South Africa’s nuclear development history, with specific focus on foreign involvement, in particular the United States.

During 2010, I became a research partner in a Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), managed jointly by the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ History and Public Policy Program (HAPP). My main activities under the umbrella of the wider project entail research into international collaboration vis-à-vis South Africa’s nuclear development in multiple archives in South Africa, Europe and the United States, oral history interviews with key role players in South Africa’s nuclear endeavors during the apartheid era, and contributing to a digital archive hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center and containing copies of declassified archival documents and transcribed interviews.

Research Interests
  • South Africa’s nuclear history.
  • United States-South African military and nuclear relations.
  • The Cold War in Southern Africa.
  • Arms control and international security.
Awards/Recognitions
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (July 2016-current)
  • Winner: Monash South Africa Distinguished Researcher Award, 2015.
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (June 2013-June 2016).
  • Monash University Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching), Commendation for excellent results in unit evaluations, 2014 (The Global Politics of Arms Control and Disarmament).
  • Monash Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Commendation for excellent results in unit evaluations, 2012 (Arms Control and Disarmament).
  • Winner: Monash South Africa PVC Distinguished Researcher Award, 2010.
  • Dean’s Commendation for excellent results in unit evaluations.
  • South Africa National Research Foundation Rating: Y2 (2010-2015).
  • Nominee: Teacher of the year, Monash South Africa PVC Staff Awards, 2009.
  • Nominee: Researcher of the year, Monash South Africa PVC Staff Awards, 2009.
  • Academic Colours, University of Pretoria, 1995 and 2005.
Fellowships
  • Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, USA, July-October 2011.
  • National Research Foundation (NRF) and University of Johannesburg Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg, March 2006 – March 2008.
Scholarships/Grants
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York to the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, 2011 – 2018.
  • Moody Research Grant, LBJ Presidential Library, 2013.
  • Institute for Security Studies, 2012.
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 2011.
  • Monash University Mobility Grant, 2009.
  • NRF Post-doctoral grant, 2006-2008.
  • SHAFR travel grant, 2007.
  • NRF Doctoral Scholarship, 2001-2003.
  • University of Pretoria “Study Abroad” Scholarship, 2001.
International Research Collaboration
  • Partner: Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), run jointly by the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies (CIMA), Italy, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ History (CIMA) and Public Policy Program (HAPP), Washington, DC, USA.
  • Former Research Associate, LSE IDEAS Africa International Affairs Programme.
  • Adjunct Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of South Africa.
  • Partner: Nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Capacity Development Initiative.
Books and Chapters in Books
  • Sue Onslow and Anna-Mart van Wyk (eds.), Southern Africa in the Cold War, post-1974: A Critical Oral History (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2013).
  • ‘The USA and Apartheid South Africa’s nuclear aspirations, 1949-1980’ in S. Onslow (ed.), White Power, Black Nationalism and the Cold War in Southern Africa, 2009, pp. 55-83. ISBN: 978-0-415-47420-7.
Peer-reviewed Publications
  • Van Wyk, J.K. and Van Wyk, A. ‘From the nuclear laager to the non-proliferation club: South Africa and the NPT’, South African Historical Journal 67, 1 (March 2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2014.977337.
  • Van Wyk, A. ‘South Africa’s nuclear programme and the Cold War’. History Compass 8, 7 (July 2010): 562-572.
  • Van Wyk, A. ‘Apartheid’s Bomb: Cold War perspectives’, South African Historical Journal 62, 1 (April 2010): 100-120.
  • Van Wyk, A. ‘Sunset over Atomic Apartheid: US-South African nuclear relations, 1981-1993’. Cold War History, 10, 1 (February 2010): 51-79.
  • Van Wyk, M.S. ‘Ally or critic? The United States’ response to South African nuclear development, 1949-1980’. Cold War History, 7, 2 (May 2007): 169-225.
  • Van Wyk, A. and Grobler J. ‘The Carter Administration and the institution of the 1977 arms embargo against South Africa: Rhetoric or active action?’ Historia, 51, 1 (May 2006): 163-199.
  • Van Wyk, A. and Grobler J. ‘The Kennedy Administration and the institution of an arms embargo against South Africa, 1961-1963’, Historia, 46, 1 (May 2001): 109-133.
Other Publications
  • Van Wyk, A. ‘Deals, Denials and Declassification: Israeli-South African Nuclear Collaboration’. IDEAS Today, Issue 05 (2010): 10-13.
Book reviews
  • Die Bom. By Nic and Lydia von Wielligh. (Pretoria: Litera, 2014). Reviewed for Rapport, 30 August 2014.
  • Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the struggle for southern Africa. By Piero Gleijeses. (Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 2013). Reviewed for HDiplo Roundtable.
  • Nuclear Apartheid: The quest for American supremacy from World War II to the present. By Shane J. Maddock. (Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press). Reviewed for Cold War History 11(2), 2011.
  • The Men Who Killed Me: Rwandan Survivors of Sexual Violence. Edited by Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Sandra Ka Hon Chu. (Canada: Douglas and McIntyre, 2009). ISBN 978-15536-5310-3. Reviewed for Acta Criminologica 23(1), April 2010: 122-124.
  • How South Africa built Six Atomic Bombs: And then Abandoned its Nuclear Weapons Program. By Al J. Venter. (South Africa: Ashanti Publishing, 2008). ISBN 978-09814-0984-9. Reviewed for South African Historical Journal 61(3), September 2009: 666-669.
Documentory Film
  • Nuclear free South Africa: 20 years on. http://www.wmdawareness.org.uk/nuclear-free-south-africa-20-years-on/
Invited Keynote Presentation
  • ‘Sunset over atomic apartheid: South Africa’s transition from nuclear pariah to nuclear poster boy’, Eighth Annual Conference of The International Society for Cultural History (ISCH): Cultures of Damaged Societies: from Post-Conflict Resolution to Intercultural Dialogue, Monash South Africa, 27 November 2014.
Invited/Sponsored Papers
  • Asia-Pacific Nuclear History Institute, organised by the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project and hosted by the Kyungnam University Institute for Far Eastern Affairs (IFES) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Paju Book City, South Korea, 5-12 November 2016 (Invited to present on ‘Nuclear Abandonment: South Africa).
  • Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), Annual ‘Bootcamp’ (summer school), University of Roma Tre, Italy, 2011-2016. (Instructor – South Africa’s nuclear past).
  • Institute of Security Studies Seminar on ‘Why South Africa gave up the bomb’, Pretoria, South Africa, 25 November 2015 (Invited).
  • CSS/GCSP/NPIHP Policy Workshop: Non-Proliferation in a Historical Perspective: New Insights and Policy Perspectives, Geneva, Switzerland, 6 November 2015 (Sponsored paper, Panel 3 – ‘The New Powers and the Advent of a Nuclear Regime).
  • Symposium on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy: Fresh Ideas for the Future, sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, James Martin Center of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, and the Government of the Netherlands, held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, 28 April 2015 (Sponsored panelist – Apartheid’s nuclear bomb: birth and demise).
  • NPIHP Summer School (‘Bootcamp’), 2011-2015, hosted by the University of Roma Tre in Allumiere, Italy.
  • South African National Defence College, 2012 – 2014, on Weapons of Mass Destruction and National Security.
  • ‘South Africa and the NPT: From Proponent to Proliferator to Participant’, Conference on the Making of a nuclear order: Negotiating the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty’, hosted by ETH Zurich, Center for Security Studies (CSS), 28 February – 2 March 2014, Freuenfeld, Switzerland. Co-presented with Jo-Ansie van Wyk.
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Academic Forum, 2012, 2013, 2014.
  • CSS/VCDNP/NPIHP Policy Conference: Nuclear Proliferation History: New evidence, analysis and policy insights, Vienna, Austria, 1 February 2013. (Sponsored paper – New evidence on national nuclear programs – South Africa). Co-presented with Rene Geyer.
  • Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)-NPIHP Summer Institute on the International History of Nuclear Weapons, Washington, DC, June 2013.
  • India Institute for Defence and Security Analysis International Seminar on the Early Years of Nuclear Cooperation and Non-Proliferation: A Dialogue on Nuclear Historicities, New Delhi, India, October 2012.
  • Regional Conference on Africa in the Global Nuclear Regime, organised by the International Network of Emerging Nuclear Specialists (INENS), Pretoria, December 2011.
  • Colloquium: ‘From Nuclear Pariah to Non-Proliferation Hero: South Africa’s Nuclear Legacy’, Yale University, New Haven, USA, 27 September 2011.
  • ‘South Africa’s nuclear history’, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Washington DC office, 16 September 2011.
  •  ‘Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume XXVIII, Southern Africa, 1969-1976’ (US Department of State, 2011), 14 September 2011.
  •  ‘From Nuclear Power to Non-Proliferation Hero: South Africa’s Nuclear Legacy’, at a conference on ‘Uncovering the Sources of Nuclear Behavior: Historical Dimensions of Nuclear Proliferation’, Zurich, Switzerland, 18-19 June 2010.
  • Workshop on the History of Nuclear Proliferation, at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, 9 June 2010.
  • CSS-ETH Zurich, Conference on the historical dimensions of nuclear behaviour, Zurich, Switzerland, June 2010. (Invited paper – From nuclear pariah to non-proliferation hero: South Africa’s nuclear legacy).
  • ‘From Nuclear Pariah to Non-Proliferation Hero: Legacies of South Africa’s nuclear policy’. LSE Ideas, London, UK, 2 March 2010.
  • Discussant, paper on ‘The ZIPA moment in Zimbabwe’s Liberation War: A historical look at a political challenge’, at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg, 20 April 2010.
  • Discussant, seminar on ‘Energy security and diplomacy’ at the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, 16 April 2010.
Conference Papers
  • ‘Carter, South Africa and the Bomb’, Annual conference of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), Lexington, KY, USA, 19-21 June 2014.
  • ‘Drivers of South Africa’s nuclearisation’, Workshop on the Historical Dimensions of South Africa’s nuclear weapons program, hosted by Monash South Africa at Intundla Lodge, Pretoria, 9 – 12 December 2012.
  • ‘Apartheid’s Nuclear Diplomacy: Cold War Perspectives’, Bi-Annual Conference of the Historical Association of South Africa, University of Pretoria, 6-7 July 2012.
  • ‘Pretoria’s Nuclear Desires: Cold War Perspectives’, at The 23rd Biennial Conference of the Southern Africa Historical Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 27-29 June 2011.
  • Session Chair and Panelist, ‘The Documentation Initiatives on the Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa: Concluding Workshop of the Nordic Documentation Project’, Unisa, 26-27 November 2009.
  • ‘From Nuclear Power to Non-Proliferation Hero: Legacies of South Africa’s Nuclear Cold War Strategy’, at ‘After the Wall: 20 years on. Scholarship and Society in Southern Africa, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 8-9 November 2009.
  • ‘Apartheid’s Bomb and Regional Liberation: Cold War Perspectives’. Working Expert Seminar on Southern Africa in the Cold War Era, Fundacao Luso-Americana, Lisbon, Portugal, 8-9 May 2009.
  • ‘Atomic Apartheid versus Liberation in the 1970s: Cold War Perspectives’. Invited paper, Liberation struggles in Southern Africa: New Perspectives Workshop, University of Cape Town, 4-6 September 2008.
  • ‘Sunset over Atomic Apartheid: US-South African nuclear relations, 1981-1993’. Annual conference of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), Columbus, OH, USA, 26-28 June 2008.
  • ‘The US Government and South African nuclear capability, 1949-1995’. Annual conference of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), Chantilly, VA, USA, 22-24 June 2007.
  • ‘The 1977 United States arms embargo against South Africa: Institution and implementation to 1997’. 1 hour presentation, Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria, Doctoral Research Seminar, 2001.
Conferences/Workshops organised
  • Annual NPHIP research partners’ workshop, Monash Prato Center, Italy, 20-21 November 2014.
  • The Historical Dimensions of South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program, Intundla Lodge, 9-12 December 2012.
  • Progress on Securing Africa’s Nuclear Resources: An Experts’ Workshop, 8-9 February 2012. In collaboration with the Institute of Security Studies, Pretoria.
  • Annual NPIHP research partners’ workshop, Monash Prato Center, Italy, 10-11 October 2011.
  • Oral History Conference on Southern Africa in the Cold War Post-1974, held at Monash South Africa, 29-31 January 2009. In collaboration with Dr. Sue Onslow, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Africa International Affairs Programme at LSE IDEAS.
Supervision Accreditation
  • Certified Higher Degrees by Research Supervisor, Monash University Supervision Accreditation Levels 1 and 2.
Completed Postgraduate Supervision
  • MPhil (International Studies). Monash South Africa. Title of thesis: ‘Syria’s chemical weapons and United States-Russian intervention: Diplomacy in practice?’ [Main supervisor, 2016].
  • MPhil (International Studies), Monash South Africa. Title: ‘An exploration of sustainable development in SADC member states: The role of BRIC/S’. [Co-supervisor, 2016].
  • PhD (International Relations), University of KwaZulu-Natal. ‘Drivers of nuclear proliferation in the Global South: A historical analysis of South Africa’. [2014, co-supervisor].
  • MPhil (International Studies). Monash South Africa. ‘From the Ashes of Conflict to Sovereign State: Exploring state formation and state-building in South Sudan’. [2014, main supervisor].
  • MPhil (International Studies), Monash South Africa. Title: ‘China’s thirst for foreign oil: the case of Iraq’. [2014, main supervisor].
  • PhD (History). Ohio State University. Title of dissertation: ‘Race and Revolution: The Crisis of White Redoubt in the Postcolonial Era, 1958-1971’. [Member of dissertation committee, 2010].
  • 12 Honours dissertations.
Ongoing Postgraduate Supervision
  • MPhil (International Studies), Monash South Africa. Title: ‘An analysis of United States nuclear posture and policy post-Cold War through the prism of non-proliferation’ [Main supervisor, 2015 – 2017].
  • MPhil (International Studies), Monash South Africa. Title: ‘An analysis of China’s post-Cold War policy’ [Main supervisor, 2015 – 2017].
  • MPhil (International Studies, Monash South Africa. Title: ‘ISIS: The new wave of terrorism? Exploring ideology, culture and religion’ [Co-main supervisor, 2016-2018].
  • MPhil (International Studies, Monash South Africa. Title: ‘Economic diplomacy in the SADC region: A study of Sino-South African trade relations’ [Co-main supervisor, 2016-2018].
Other Professional Activities
  • Reviewer for History Compass, Cold War History, Historia and Bloomsbury Press.
  • External examiner, DPhil on South Africa’s nuclear diplomacy, post-1991, Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, 2012.
  • External examiner, DPhil in International Relations, Unisa, 2014.
  • External examiner, DPhil in Cultural History, University of Pretoria, 2015.
  • External examiner, MA Strategic Studies, University of Pretoria (by research), 2015.
  • External examiner, Masters in International Relations (by research), Unisa, 2015.
  • External examiner, three Masters of Diplomacy, Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria.
  • External moderator, Honours program of the Department of Political Science, Northwest University.
  • Member of the International Network of Emerging Nuclear Specialists (INENS).
  • Member of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR).
  • Member of the Historical Association of South Africa (HASA).
  • Member of the Southern Africa Historical Society.
All researchers