Africa's big brother?

Exploring South Africa's peacemaking and development role under the Mbeki and Zuma eras”.

Seminar in Bergen 21 September

There is little dispute over South Africa’s relative power in regional and continental terms. The question instead is how to understand the choices of the South African government in exercising its power and influence. Looking at the Mbeki era, did the South African government's orientation towards the region and elsewhere in Africa display hegemonic behaviour, or middle power behaviour, did it act as agent of the West, or was it merely displaying African ruling elite behaviour? This presentation will explore what it believes to be the exercise of soft power particularly relating to peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction and development. The paper briefly examines emerging approaches under the current Zuma administration before concluding with some policy recommendations.

Associate professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk is Director of the Centre for Defence and Security Management at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. He has collaborated with CMI on several projects, most recently on a project on SADC and regional cooperation in Southern Africa.

Date: 21 September
Time: 12:15 - 14:00
Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development

Phone: +47 47 93 81 00 - E-mail:
P.O.Box 6033 Postterminalen, N-5892 Bergen, Norway
Visiting address: Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

Anthoni van Nieuwkerk
Conflict resolution
Foreign policy
South Africa
Southern Africa
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