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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Getting to the negotiating table in South Africa: domestic and international dynamics
Author:Lieberfeld, DanielISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
national liberation movements
peace negotiations
African National Congress (South Africa)
National Party
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589340050004073
Abstract:Interrelated changes outside and inside South Africa during the mid and late 1980s led the National Party (NP) and the ANC to begin official negotiation in 1990. This article highlights changes in perceptions of threat among the decisionmaking elites on each side as a means of bridging levels of analysis and explaining how influence processes at different levels affected conflict decisionmaking. It analyses the internal-external interactions that influenced NP and ANC leaders' decisionmaking regarding negotiation. The analysis emphasizes the apartheid government side's shift in policy, since the government had traditionally sought to defend status quo political relationships, including non-recognition of the ANC. While the ANC had long sought negotiations, it was determined to enter such talks from a superior position of power. The conclusion summarizes the major events of the 1980s and their effects on the ANC and the NP, and the perceived threats and opportunities for the NP and the ANC in late 1989. The effect of leadership change on the side supporting the status quo, and the two sides' shared aversion to third-party interventions that could compromise their autonomy, may be generalizable to other cases. The article is based amongst others on personal interviews with NP and ANC policymakers. Notes, ref., sum.