International Politics and South Africa's Transition
Author: Chris Landsberg
Publisher: Jacana Media
A leading analyst of South Africa's national and foreign policy chronicles the complexities of the transition from apartheid to democracy and South Africa's current approach to diplomacy in Africa and further afield.
South Africa is still the major-player in African diplomacy, its military resources far outstripping those of other nations on the continent. It also has traditionally taken the lead role in Africa’s united negotiations with other power blocs. Yet the recent consensus has been that South Africa’s diplomacy over the last decades has been a disappointing failure - from appearing to back the controversial Mugabe regime to accusations that it is failing to utilize its position to encourage Chinese investment. John Siko has had insider access to the corridors of power in South Africa, and, with access to the major political players, charts the inability of South Africa to develop a coherent policy over the last four decades. In particular, he reveals the tight grip Mbeki has over foreign policy, to the detriment of SA’s standing in the world, and argues South Africa’s isolationist style of policy making has not changed enough after Mandela’s election in 1994.
Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream
Author: Mark Gevisser
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
A gripping social history of South Africa's past and future and beautifully narrated by one of Africa's most esteemed journalists, From Struggle to Liberation sheds light on the future of the nation under a new regime. With unprecedented access to Thabo Mbeki and the top brass in the African National Congress, Mark Gevisser weaves a nuanced portrait of the black experience under apartheid. Revelations about the current president and the politics that continue to shape South Africa include: - Thabo Mbeki's difficult relationship with his own political activist and largely absent father Govan Mbeki, who was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. - How the death of his son Kwanda in the diamond mines and the murder of his brother Jama directly affected his leadership and will continue to shape the governance of Africa for years to come. - The reasons behind Mbeki's puzzling refusal to admit that the HIV virus causes AIDS, which in South Africa claims 800 lives per day, and his support of corrupt governments such as Zimbabwe's. - Inside rivalry between Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the populist leader destined to take over as president in 2009. This accessible account of a monumental period in world history is the definitive look at contemporary South Africa.
Zimbabwe has moved from a condition of restricted expression to one of many contradictory expressions. Politics has lost none of its compromises and conflicts, but it has been amplified by an explosion of voices. For the first time, a genuine debate is possible among many actors, insiders and outsiders, and the question marks over Zimbabwe and its future are no longer in terms of a narrow choice between one party and another, one outlook or another. Compromise government has meant complexity of debate. This does not preclude disillusionment within debate, but it does include vigour and imagination in debate. This book includes essays from renowned scholars, governmental and diplomatic figures, and prioritises contributions by Zimbabweans themselves. The essays provide a blend of academic and practitioner observation and judgement which no other volume has done. This book was published as a special issue of The Round Table.
Peacebuilding, Power, and Politics in Africa is a critical reflection on peacebuilding efforts in Africa. The authors expose the tensions and contradictions in different clusters of peacebuilding activities, including peace negotiations; statebuilding; security sector governance; and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. Essays also address the institutional framework for peacebuilding in Africa and the ideological underpinnings of key institutions, including the African Union, NEPAD, the African Development Bank, the Pan-African Ministers Conference for Public and Civil Service, the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the World Bank, and the International Criminal Court. The volume includes on-the-ground case study chapters on Sudan, the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Niger Delta, Southern Africa, and Somalia, analyzing how peacebuilding operates in particular African contexts. The authors adopt a variety of approaches, but they share a conviction that peacebuilding in Africa is not a script that is authored solely in Western capitals and in the corridors of the United Nations. Rather, the writers in this volume focus on the interaction between local and global ideas and practices in the reconstitution of authority and livelihoods after conflict. The book systematically showcases the tensions that occur within and between the many actors involved in the peacebuilding industry, as well as their intended beneficiaries. It looks at the multiple ways in which peacebuilding ideas and initiatives are reinforced, questioned, reappropriated, and redesigned by different African actors. A joint project between the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Nelson Mandela is one of the most revered figures of our time. The essays in this Companion, written by experts in history, anthropology, jurisprudence, cinema, literature, and visual studies, examine how Mandela became the icon he is today and ponder the meanings and uses of his internationally recognizable image.