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The crisis of South African foreign policy and the ANC

The crisis of South African foreign policy and the ANC: diplomacy, leadership and the role of the African National Congress

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Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherI.B. Tauris
Number of pages320
ISBN (Print)9781780766355, 1780766351
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2015

Abstract

The emergence of a ‘new’ democratic South Africa was regarded as a high watermark for international ideals of human rights and democracy. Against this wave of domestic and international optimism, much was expected of the ANC in power; they themselves had set out ambitious aims on how to transform the fortunes of a democratic South Africa. There was an underlying belief that the ANC would be able to translate its ideals into foreign policy, epitomised by a public commitment to human rights. Yet, its foreign policy has since been mired in accusations of incoherence, contradiction and failure.

This publication offers new ways of interpreting South Africa’s foreign policy by investigating the continuities and discontinuities of the ANC’s international relations from exile to political power. By charting recent developments against the previously under-researched years of South Africa’s transition, the book demonstrates how such a state of affairs emerged within its ruling party.
Based on extensive archival research and interviews, this book provides an historical reassessment of the pressures and influences upon the ANC from exile to government. Itcharts how the ANC’s foreign policy has evolved, the political intrigues during the country’s transition from apartheid, and the subsequent influences on Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, along with their responses. One of the key aspects is a focus on its complicated relationships with Southern African governments and movements. The book also argues that an examination of the events and decisions taken during the transition are a pivotal hinge to understanding post-apartheid foreign policy.

The book makes a vital contribution to our understanding of why post-apartheid South Africa acts the way it does on the world stage and in relation to Africa.Rooted in historical analysis, it also integrates aspects from the fields of politics and international relations

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