International Mediation in the South African Transition: Brokering Power in Intractable Conflicts

1st Edition

Zwelethu Jolobe

April 24, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 192 Pages
ISBN 9781138496804 - CAT# K350587
Series: Routledge Contemporary South Africa


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Conventional wisdom has it that South Africa’s transition to democracy was an owned process with no significant international mediation. However, this book shows that the international community, particularly the Commonwealth and the United Nations, played a profound and beneficial role in the political transition to end apartheid.

This book examines and compares the distinct roles and approaches mediation by the Commonwealth and United Nations played in assisting the negotiated process in South Africa. The main question the book addresses is under what conditions international mediation brings about peaceful change i.e. when is international mediation effective in transforming an intractable conflict into a negotiated settlement. International mediation in the South African transition is examined as an exercise in which international organisations had interests and operated in a context of power and cost-benefit calculation. The author argues that the Commonwealth and United Nations had an interest in the conflict and in obtaining an outcome, and played distinct roles.

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