International Diplomacy


'If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner' -
N. Mandela

This programme is aimed at understanding how decisions, choices and policies of various states help shape the outcomes of significant international processes including negotiations, conferences and diplomatic clubs. The programme tracks the conduct of international diplomacy, assesses the role of Africa and South Africa, for the purpose of identify ways in which Africa and South Africa could make a better use of international diplomacy. The IGD believes that international diplomacy when used strategically and in a calculated fashion offers great opportunities for developing countries to ensure its outcomes help overcome global inequality, poverty and underdevelopment.

The programme has two sub-themes, namely:

1. International negotiations and conferences and the possibility of realising Africa's and South Africa's foreign policy goal by forging inclusive, realistic and ambitious consensuses. The focus is on diplomatic platforms with a strong economic and developmental bias such as the G20, the UN, the OECD, the WEF and so forth.

Current research within this focus area includes:

  • Environmental Diplomacy and the dynamics of the international climate change negotiations and the achievement of fair and pragmatic outcomes.
  • Developmental Diplomacy with its focus on the changing geo-politics of development cooperation, the future role of development cooperation and South Africa’s emerging role in development assistance.

Dr Lesley Masters leads this area of study.

2. Led by Siphamandla Zondi, the sub-theme on African diplomacy seeks to understand and influence the changing role of Africa in world affairs. A component of this is to identify ways of improving decision-making and strengthening inter-institutional linkages to ensure positive outcomes from Africa's agreements with other regions and countries. This includes a strategic role for the AU Commission and civil society.

Current research within this focus area includes:

SADC Institutionswhich unpacks the state of institutional effectiveness in the SADC, with particular reference to SADC National Committees (SNCs) and their linkage to the SADC Secretariat, exploring ways in which South Africa could best show its regional leadership by championing the process of strengthening the capacity of these institutions to deliver on SADC’s goals.

Dr S. Zondi coordinates this area of study. He was part of an AU Technical Committee on Post-Conflict Development and Reconstruction in Sudan.

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263 Nana Sita Street
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The Tramshed
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