Years ago I remember reading Paul Kennedy’s classic, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Changes and Military Conflict (1987). I was most impressed by the statement: “But states apparently at the zenith of their political power are usually already in a condition of comparative economic decline and the United States is no exception. Power can be maintained only by a prudent balance between the creation of wealth and military expenditure, and great powers in decline almost always hasten their demise by shifting expenditure from the former to the latter.”
South Africa’s historical end to racial discrimination and welcome back into the international community is widely admired. The reform from deviant state to a model world citizen holds immense symbolic potential and thus shows that it is possible to conform to international democratic and governance standards; even if the deviant system in question has been entrenched and institutionalised, as South Africa was.
Germany’s assumption of the G20 presidency kicked off on 1 December 2016 with a concerted presentation of its priorities, as the multilateral economic and financial forum looks towards its Hamburg Summit of July 2017. Of note among these priorities is the Compact with Africa through which Germany seeks to intensify partnerships with Africa
We are currently living in very troubling and uncertain times, what I’m referring to is the ongoing political situation in the U.S. How the American people have managed to vote for a man that has publicly bragged about sexually assaulting women is beyond me; it has rattled me to my very core. When former first lady Michelle Obama gave a speech in New Hampshire before the presidential election in November, she emphasized how it personally affected not only her but women all over America that Trump had openly made disrespectful comments towards women.
The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, was recently in Israel- a visit that has since given the African National Congress (ANC) some ammunition against its opposition and left South Africans wondering if this was the DA taking lessons from the oppressor or merely going to Israel to learn firsthand about the conflict1 and how South Africa can play a more active role in reaching an agreement between the parties2.