Eietydse geskiedenis: 'n interdissiplinêre benadering
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Contemporary history is essentially a multidisciplinary approach to explain the present or recent world. The historian, with utilisation of the time dimension and his capacity to see the dynamics of change through time (instead of having a static approach), has a unique contribution to make. But the political scientist, the geographer, the economist, the journalist and the military expert are all able to contribute to the mosaic of understanding the present world as well. In this article, all six these disciplines’ contributions are discussed. They are then tied together in a case study, namely the influence of the end of the Cold War on Africa. It is shown that Africa used to be a continent with which things happened, instead of being able to make things happen. However, the competition between the Communist Bloc and the West placed Africa in an artificial position of influence by being able to play the two sides out against each other. The end of the Cold War reduced Africa once more to the powerless position it had before.