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A comparison of South Africa's quiet diplomacy towards Nigeria and Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.author Graham, Victoria
dc.date.accessioned 2008-10-29T06:57:43Z
dc.date.available 2008-10-29T06:57:43Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10-29T06:57:43Z
dc.date.submitted 2004-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1370
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Diplomacy is the most widely used instrument of foreign policy. The changing international environment, brought about by the end of the Cold War and the increasingly popular doctrine of humanitarian intervention, has altered the nature of diplomacy. “Quiet diplomacy” has progressively become the bon mot of international relations. However, quiet diplomacy is a loose term that is bandied about in reference to many kinds of “soft” diplomatic approaches. This study is an attempt to provide some clarity on the conceptualisation of quiet diplomacy, through the comparative analysis of its use by two successive South African Presidents - Mandela and Mbeki - in two African crises. The study proposes a set of indicators of quiet diplomacy, namely: personal or direct diplomacy between heads of state or government or senior officials; little (or no) media involvement; the appearance of limited action or even inaction; calm and tactful but persistent negotiation or dialogue in a non-threatening atmosphere; constructive engagement with the target country in an effort to solve the problems as quietly as possible; and finally, diplomacy often carried out in the context of bilateral or multilateral efforts. These indicators are operationalised during the course of the study by applying them to Mandela’s use of these tactics in the Nigerian crisis in 1995 and then Mbeki’s quiet diplomacy towards the Zimbabwean government in 2000-2004. The new South Africa was instantly placed under enormous pressure to assume responsibility, both economically and politically, for the revitalisation of the African continent. In addition Mandela was regarded as a supreme symbol of peace and reconciliation and the international community looked to him to resolve Nigeria’s woes. Mbeki’s soft approach to Mugabe has been the target of international speculation and criticism, especially in light of Mbeki’s stated commitment to the African Renaissance and good governance in Africa. The successes and failures of South Africa’s quiet diplomacy in these two situations are discussed. Notable findings are Mandela’s shift from quiet to coercive diplomacy during the Nigerian crisis and the negative consequences of that decision. The implications of this undertaking are considerable because it was South Africa’s use of coercion and its subsequent failure in Nigeria that prompted Mbeki’s government to pursue only quiet diplomacy in Zimbabwe. en
dc.description.sponsorship Mr. P.P. Fourie Prof. D.J. Geldenhuys en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Diplomacy en
dc.subject South Africa foreign relations en
dc.subject Zimbabwe en
dc.subject Nigeria en
dc.title A comparison of South Africa's quiet diplomacy towards Nigeria and Zimbabwe en
dc.type Thesis en

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