Enduring Political Divides in South Africa
CIGI Technical Paper No. 3
26 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2007
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
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