An encumbered regional power?: the capacity gap in South Africa's peace diplomacy in Africa

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HSRC Press, 2009 - Political Science - 36 pages
The main focus of this paper is the link between South Africa's grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue these objectives. Specifically, the paper examines Pretoria's involvement in Africa, and its internal capacity to support its mediation, peacekeeping and strengthening of the abilities of African institutions for peacemaking. Further, it examines the challenges posed by tension between its pan-African and economic interests as well as power rivalry at the continental level, which have greatly limited its ability to play a more assertive role in regional political and economic developments. Since its transition from apartheid to democracy in April 1994, South Africa has been an increasingly important player in peace promotion activities across the continent. Because of its moral power arising from its unique transition from apartheid to democracy, and its military and economic might, South Africa is widely viewed as being in the same league as other global middle-sized powers, and as a regional 'superpower'.

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