The Reed that Lies Low in a Flooded River: Swazi Resistance to South African Reform Diplomacy

Image: Flickr, Jörgen Brouwer
Image: Flickr, Jörgen Brouwer

This policy briefing examines the extent to which South Africa has used its economic clout to influence the political situation in Swaziland since 1994.

Swaziland is in stark contrast to all that South Africa stands for in terms of value systems and governance structures. South Africa, as both a regional hegemon and a neighbour, may be considered duty bound to encourage reform in Swaziland in order to bring it on par with regional standards and avoid an economic meltdown.

This analysis is made through the lenses of foreign policy and economic diplomacy, including how South Africa engages with Swaziland through traditional domestic structures and regional institutions such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and, most importantly, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

12 May 2014