Jean-Paul Marthoz is the European correspondent of the Committee to Protect Journalists, professor of international journalism at the Université Catholique de Louvain, and foreign affairs columnist for the Belgian daily Le Soir.
He reported from Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s and...
- Turkey as a humanitarian actor: the critical cases of Somalia and Syria
Pinar Tank , 17 March 2015
- Africa’s pre-eminent peacemaker? An appraisal of South Africa’s peacemaking role in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Milfrid Tonheim , Gerrie Swart , 6 February 2015
- African development: what role do the rising powers play?
Elling N. Tjønneland , 23 January 2015
- Conflicting dilemmas: economic growth, natural resources and indigenous populations in South America
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos , 3 November 2014
- Brazil’s involvement in peacekeeping operations: the new defence-security-foreign policy nexus
Monica Hirst , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 30 September 2014
- The discursive articulation of the concept of the “rising power”: perceptions, stances and interests in Brazil, Russia and Turkey
Licínia Simão , Teresa Almeida Cravo , André Barrinha , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 24 September 2014
- South America’s economic and political landscape: recent developments and trends
Alcides Costa Vaz , 17 September 2014
The challenges and ambiguities of South Africa’s foreign policy
Jean-Paul Marthoz , 19 September 2012
In 1994, after the African National Congress’s electoral victory, the Republic of South Africa emerged as a promising regional foreign policy actor. The rise of a generation formed in one of the most epic global political struggles, its proclaimed commitment to promote peace and development and its promise to put human rights at the heart of its international relations seemed to open a new era in Africa. The new South Africa established itself as a key actor in the region, acting as a mediator and sending peacekeeping troops to conflict zones, launching ambitious plans to develop the continent, and guiding the reforms leading to the (re)birth of the African Union (AU). This Africa focus was complemented with a strong commitment towards the global South and the forging of alliances with other new emerging powers, in particular Brazil and India.
Over the last two decades South Africa has scored some significant victories and become one of the major players on the continent and a legitimate voice of Africa on the world scene. It has failed, however, to project its influence as it initially planned to.
Despite its ambiguous record, South Africa remains an important partner for Norwegian peacebuilding diplomacy, particularly in the context of supporting the AU in the region. A major challenge will be to address South Africa’s “solvency”, i.e. to balance its diplomacy with its economic and social realities, and its political and military capacities.