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Research Report


Compiled by Fritz Nganje
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2012
Pages: 27

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [ii]-[iv])
  2. (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. (pp. 4-4)

    In the course of its struggle against white minority rule in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) developed an active international presence, which saw it forge bilateral and multilateral relations with different states and non-state actors across the world. As a ruling party, the ANC has not abandoned its international character. It has worked to strengthen historical relations with like-minded movements in other parts of the world. More importantly, its structures have increasingly become a significant source of influence on South Africa’s foreign policy decisions. For example, the 2007 National Conference of the party adopted a number of resolutions...

  4. (pp. 5-9)
    Sifiso Ndlovu, Mammo Muchie and Chris Landsberg

    The ANC’s internationalism has its roots in the struggle against racism and white supremacy rule in South Africa, as those who were later to become founders of the movement sought to link the national question in South Africa with the broader anti-colonial struggles that took place throughout the world. This could be discerned from different strands of the anti-racial and anti-colonial activism in South Africa, which preceded the founding of the ANC and continued into the closing decades of the twentieth century. In the first instance, the strategy of the founders of the ANC to challenge the institutionalisation of racism...

  5. (pp. 10-11)
    Essop Pahad

    In addition to the identity of the ANC as a progressive, pan-Africanist, non-racial and anti-colonial movement, as highlighted in the presentations, the influence of the communist movement in shaping the thinking of the ANC also needs to be appreciated. In particular, the ANC embraced the Soviet Union as a pivotal force in the struggle against imperialism. The ANC also used its international presence to contribute to building an extensive solidarity movement of progressive forces in countries like Vietnam, Chile, Spain and the Palestinian territories. Today, the ANC prioritises international solidarity because millions of people across the world spent time, money...

  6. (pp. 12-13)

    A key point emphasised during the question and answer session was that South Africa’s foreign policy is not derived exclusively from the positions of the ruling party. This emerged from concerns over the distinction between state and party on matters of foreign policy in South Africa. It was indicated that there is nothing wrong in any country for the ruling party to influence foreign policy. However, in its attempt to influence the country’s foreign policy, the ANC must develop a greater understanding and remain conscious of the line between state and party. Moreover, it was highlighted that although the historical...

  7. (pp. 14-14)

    The history of the ANC, in particular its century of international activism, comes with significant conceptual and practical lessons in foreign policy and international relations. From a theoretical standpoint, the exposés reflected in this report highlight, in very clear terms, weaknesses in state-centric approaches to the analysis of foreign policy, having sufficiently illustrated how the principles and values of a liberation movement that has transformed into a governing political party have become entrenched as the single most important source of a country’s foreign policy. For foreign policy scholars, this only goes to reinforce the case for multi-actor, multi-issue and multi-level...

  8. (pp. 15-19)
  9. (pp. 20-21)