The Generational Shift in South African Foreign Policy

Theory and Application of the “Generation” in International Relations and Politics

Author/s (editor/s):

Jeremy Youde

Publication year:

2012

Publication type:

Book chapter

Find this publication at:
Palgrave Macmillan

Jeremy Youde, ‘The Generational Shift in South African Foreign Policy’, in Brent J. Steele and Jonathan M. Acuff, eds, Theory and Application of the “Generation” in International Relations and Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 97-121.

Does generational analysis of foreign policymaking apply outside of the United States and Europe? In this chapter, I apply Michael Roskin’s generational analysis of foreign policymaking to the Republic of South Africa. More specifically, I argue that South Africa has experienced a generational shift in its foreign policy in reaction to discrete events. However, I argue that this generational shift is not due to the end of apartheid and the creation of a multiracial democracy in 1994. Instead, I identify the shift as being a response to a perceived foreign policy failure during Nelson Mandela’s presidential term. Mandela’s failure in dealing with the Nigerian government’s execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni activists in 1995 chagrined a generation of foreign policymakers and encouraged them to reorient the country’s foreign policy and bolster its relative prominence.

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