Dialogue Online No. 2/2016: “South African foreign policy’s conflict mediation outcomes are significantly shaped by the democratic deficit which characterises the African continent” By Sambulo Mathebula, July 2016

South African foreign policy has brooked a fair amount of criticism from observers and commentators in recent times. The suggestion has been that it is unclear and that its core values and priorities are obfuscated by practitioners. The following is an attempt to understand the key influences that have shaped South African foreign policy priorities after 1994, in particular, conflict mediation as a key South African Foreign policy priority. South Africa transformed from being a global and continental pariah to a respected actor in international affairs. This occurred within an African context which was ceased with the challenge of ensuring that democratic governance is deepened and consolidated. This brief contribution argues that the democratic deficit which characterises the African continent has been a key influence in terms of shaping democratic South African’s Foreign Policy and approaches to conflict mediation.

Download PDF here: DO2 of 2016