Mbeki and Mandela's Foreign Policy

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  • Topic: African Union, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki
  • Pages : 9 (2765 words )
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  • Published : April 25, 2013
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1. Introduction
South Africa’s foreign policy has seen a number of changes over the years through transitions and administration transformations. It is the task of this essay to compare the foreign policy of the Mandela Administration with that of the Thabo Mbeki administration. In so doing, this essay will firstly consider the Foreign Policy pillars of the Mandela administration and the influences for this foreign policy dispensation. This discussion will be followed by a case study of Mandela’s Foreign policy in action. A discussion on Thabo Mbeki’s Foreign Policy will then commence, again by first considering Thabo Mbeki’s Foreign Policy pillars, followed by the influence for this Foreign Policy dispensation. This evaluation will again be followed by a case study of Thabo Mbeki’s Foreign Policy in Action. Lastly a comparative summation of both foreign policies will be put forward. Preceding this analysis however is first a conceptualization of key terms.

2. Key Terms
2.1. Foreign Policy: is defined by Russet et al (266:1) is “a guide to actions taken beyond the boundaries of a state to further the goals of the state”. (Robert Jackson (200:223) further expands his notion by adding that “it is their (governments) attempts and efforts to influence the goals and activities of such actors (states, NGOs and international organizations), whom they cannot completely control because they exist and operate beyond their sovereignty”.

2.2 National Interest: according to Mingst (2011: 70) can be summarised simply as “the interest of the state, in realist thinking, the interest is a unitary one defined in terms power, in a liberal thinking, there are many national interests…”.

2.3 African Renaissance: Is simply defined by the Department of International relations and cooperation as “…a program of Africa’s Renewal.” (DFA Annual Report, 2002/2003: 83).

2.4 State Goals: Russette et al (2006: 135) defines state goals as “…a vision of a state of affairs that policy makers aspire to bring about by influencing the behaviour of other states”.

3. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s Foreign Policy
Landsberg (2010:89) asserts that “…the Mandela government set out to introduce change by breaking with the Apartheid past and seeing the republic become a responsible –respected – world citizen by assuming good conduct… abroad”. This can also be views as a transitionary behavioural pattern. Landsberg (2010:95) further expands, stating that South Africa thus committed itself to conform “… to institutionalised and accepted practices”. In perpetuating this notion, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Nzo stated declared “South Africa’s return to the international community as a respected ’world citizen’ has been welcomed widely and warmly” Landsberg (2010:95).

With this outset becoming the foundation for Mandela’s Foreign Policy stance, it is no wonder then that the following were his Foreign Policy pillars: human rights; promotion of democracy; adherence to international law; international peace; the interests of Africa and lastly regional and international economic cooperation. It is safe to perceive from the above that this Foreign Policy stance is, to a large extent, human rights orientated. Landsberg (2010:98) contends Nelson Mandela’s 1993 article articulates that Human Rights is top of his priority “…expending beyond economic and the political to embrace the economic, social and environmental”. Further still, this idea is captured in the 1994 foreign policy document of the ANC which announces as Landsberg (2010:82) demonstrates that it intends to “… promote a people centred foreign policy that would mirror the ANC’s long relationship with the international community and reflect the rich tapestry of the international heritage”.

Top further cement his argument, Landsberg (2010:98) says Afred Nzo, whilst addressing the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) stated that “human rights are the cornerstone of our government policy and...
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