The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Since its transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa has become increasingly drawn into the resolution of conflicts and the promotion of peace and stability on the wider African continent. This has followed from the high reputation of its own negotiated settlement as a model for other conflict torn countries to emulate, the iconic status of Nelson Mandela as a master of reconciliation and forgiveness, and not least the sense in Pretoria that South Africa has a moral obligation to repay Africa for the sins of apartheid and that it has some considerable capacity, military and economic, to do so.

This collection drawn from a workshop conducted on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation offers overviews of key aspects of South Africas attempts to bring various of Africas wars and conflicts to an end, alongside analyses of its vigorous peace-making engagements in particular countries (Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast). It concludes with considerations of the exportability of the South African miracle (notably with regard
to the extent that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission experience can usefully be replicated elsewhere), principles of best practice and gendered involvement in peace-making, and the difficulties presented to South Africas more noble goals by the countrys simultaneous existence as an arms manufacturer and exporter of weapons to hot-spots of conflict around the continent and elsewhere in the world.

Outlining a shift in Pretorias continental policy from the ambitiously principled aspirations of the Mandela years, whose human-rights orientation resulted in South Africa clashing with other African regimes (notably those in Nigeria and Zimbabwe), to a more pragmatic, but arguably effective multilateralist approach under Mbeki, this collection explores failures as well as successes, and constraints as well as capacity.

Including chapters by authors from the HSRC (John Daniel, Roger Southall & Sanusha Naidu), the Institute for Security Studies (Henri Boshoff), the International Crisis Group (Peter Kagwanja), the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (Claude Kabemba) and by university-based and independent scholars (Nthakeng Selinyane, Dale McKinley, Alison Lazarus & Ishola Williams), it constitutes an important contribution to the debate about South African foreign policy as a whole, and in particular about whether South Africa should be viewed as a regional hegemon.

Product information

Format : 148mm x 210mm
Pages : 280
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2129-6
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2129-1
Publish Year : 2006
  • Introduction: South Africa - An African peacemaker?
  • Power and peace: South Africa and the refurbishing of Africas multilateral capacity for peacemaking
  • Lost between stability and democracy: South Africa and Lesothos constitutional crises of the 1990s
  • Commodifying oppression: South African foreign policy towards Zimbabwe under Mbeki
  • A long prelude to peace: African involvement in ending Burundis war
  • Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration during the transition in Burundi: a success story?
  • South Africa and the DRC
  • South Africas role in peacemaking in West Africa
  • Dealing with Africas post-independence past: Truth Commissions, Special Courts, war crimes trials and other methods
  • Ten principles of best practice engagement
  • A gendered perspective on principles and practice of peacemaking
  • The South African arms industry: redefining the boundaries
Professor Roger Southall is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the HSRC and was formerly Professor of Political Studies, Rhodes University. He has also participated and researched in academic institutions and think-tanks in Lesotho, Uganda, the UK and Canada. He is a co-editor of the HSRCs highly acclaimed State of the Nation volumes, collections of original articles upon South African politics and society, and is General Editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.
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