South Africa’s Regional Policy: The Link Between Normative Anchors and Economic Diplomacy in SADC

Image: Flickr, Darren Glanville
Image: Flickr, Darren Glanville

South Africa’s foreign policy identity is grounded in the values of good governance, democracy and human rights, as a consequence of its own transition to democratic rule in 1994. However, the past two decades have witnessed lacunae in the manner in which these values have been articulated in its economic diplomacy in Southern Africa.

This paper argues that South Africa’s economic diplomacy interacts with the normative anchors of Pretoria’s foreign policy within a framework that is informed by South Africa’s own history and world view, as well as by the regional context in which it operates. It argues that the regional context and the constraints this imposes on South Africa have led to an inconsistent and potentially weak linkage between the country’s norms and its economic diplomacy as two interactive sides in the country’s regional policy.

22 May 2014