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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We met the enemy and he is us': domestic politics and South Africa's role in promoting African democracy
Author:Friedman, StevenISNI
Periodical:African Journal of International Affairs (ISSN 0850-7902)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Subjects:foreign policy
South Africa--Politics and government
international relations
Abstract:South Africa's postapartheid foreign policy has disappointed scholars and activists who expected the postapartheid State to promote democracy and human rights in Africa and the world, and who complain that it has failed to fulfill that promise. This paper examines South Africa's role in democracy promotion since 1994 and, in particular, the argument that it intended to promote rights and freedoms in Africa but was forced to change its approach by power realities on the continent. It finds this explanation wanting and argues that the core foreign policy goal of the postapartheid government was not to promote democracy, but rather, merely to prove white racism wrong. Since 1994, the African National Congress-led government has been aware that much of white opinion, at home and abroad, expects majority ruled African societies to fail. Its prime concern, therefore, has been to refute the prejudice that black Africans cannot run successful societies. It is this concern which has underpinned foreign policy: the aim has been to project Africa as a continent whose States are measuring up to the Northern model of a successful society. Hence, democracy promotion has been only a means to that end, and this is the major factor responsible for its uneven and sporadic application. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]