Enduring Political Divides in South Africa

CIGI Technical Paper No. 3

26 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2007

See all articles by Hany Besada

Hany Besada

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

Date Written: August 2007


This paper offers an assessment of the foreign policy strategies adopted by both the Mandela and Mbeki administrations in their quest to shed the country's image as a former defender of racial segregation, largely dislocated from the global economic system to become the leading defender of multiparty democracy, national reconciliatory processes and economic justice in Sub-Saharan Africa. In detail, it examines the five strategies employed by the ANC government to restore peace and stability to the country while paving a new path for it to embark on as a respected member of the international community.

These include the restoration of a political system based on pluralism, democratic institutions and a new constitution that enshrines the importance of human rights and equality; a well organized process of national reconciliation deemed necessary to heal some of the outstanding perpetual scars of Apartheid; self promotion as the leader of the 'African renaissance'; adherence to the foreign policy principle of 'universality'; assumption of a leadership role in international organizations; and a new shift towards self-driven policy to secure economic interests deemed vital for the national economy. While it reflects some of the foreign policy challenges confronting countries on the sub-continent, it also offers insights into the foreign policy adaptation strategies pursued by emerging powers in other regions of the world.

Keywords: South Africa, Fragile State, Mandela, Mbeki, ANC, Poltical system, pluralism, democracy, constitution, human rights, crime, education, HIV, AIDS

Suggested Citation

Besada, Hany, Enduring Political Divides in South Africa (August 2007). CIGI Technical Paper No. 3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019090 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1019090

Hany Besada (Contact Author)

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) ( email )

57 Erb Street West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2

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