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Refocusing South Africa's economic diplomacy: the ‘African Agenda’ and emerging powers

Refocusing South Africa's economic diplomacy: the ‘African Agenda’ and emerging powers This article assesses the prospects for a clearly articulated economic diplomacy approach in South Africa's foreign policy. It argues that while South Africa's foreign policy has been to a considerable extent normatively grounded, it has failed to develop a coherent economic diplomacy that is based on focused and distinctly expressed priorities. This is a crucial gap that limits the country's ability to respond to regional and global changes, in particular those posed by emerging powers. The article identifies a number of gaps in South Africa's foreign policy approach and highlights its oblivion to global developments and geopolitical dynamics in the African continent. It sets out possible policy outlines for developing a clearer and stronger economic diplomacy. The building blocks for such an approach include the identification of strategic foreign policy priorities; greater institutional co-operation among agencies dealing with economic and foreign policy development; synergies between corporate strategies and government's foreign policy objectives; and the need for South Africa to develop a stronger leadership ambition in the African continent, both to contribute to Africa's development and to pursue its own economic interests. This ambition will require awareness of South Africa's own limitations, thus focusing the better part of its foreign policy on a limited set of countries that match strategic priorities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png South African Journal of International Affairs Taylor & Francis

Refocusing South Africa's economic diplomacy: the ‘African Agenda’ and emerging powers

16 pages

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References (27)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright The South African Institute of International Affairs
ISSN
1938-0275
eISSN
1022-0461
DOI
10.1080/10220461003763833
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article assesses the prospects for a clearly articulated economic diplomacy approach in South Africa's foreign policy. It argues that while South Africa's foreign policy has been to a considerable extent normatively grounded, it has failed to develop a coherent economic diplomacy that is based on focused and distinctly expressed priorities. This is a crucial gap that limits the country's ability to respond to regional and global changes, in particular those posed by emerging powers. The article identifies a number of gaps in South Africa's foreign policy approach and highlights its oblivion to global developments and geopolitical dynamics in the African continent. It sets out possible policy outlines for developing a clearer and stronger economic diplomacy. The building blocks for such an approach include the identification of strategic foreign policy priorities; greater institutional co-operation among agencies dealing with economic and foreign policy development; synergies between corporate strategies and government's foreign policy objectives; and the need for South Africa to develop a stronger leadership ambition in the African continent, both to contribute to Africa's development and to pursue its own economic interests. This ambition will require awareness of South Africa's own limitations, thus focusing the better part of its foreign policy on a limited set of countries that match strategic priorities.

Journal

South African Journal of International AffairsTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 1, 2010

Keywords: economic diplomacy; government–business relations; foreign policy; corporate strategy; Africa; South Africa

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