1st Edition

International Mediation in the South African Transition
Brokering Power in Intractable Conflicts

ISBN 9780367786526
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
162 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book challenges the conventional understanding of South Africa’s transition to democracy as a home-grown process through a comparative analysis of Commonwealth and United Nations mediation attempts.

Approaching power transition through the lens of South Africa, Zwelethu Jolobe raises questions about how methods and types of mediation are understood, and their appropriateness for certain stages of negotiation processes. International Mediation in the South African Transition calls into question the generalisations about the determinants of success by international third parties in resolving internal conflicts. It moves from the position that the success of a mediation effort depends on the examination of the time horizon of a conflict and on the contribution the mediation effort plays in improving the relationship between the belligerents. The book argues that the international community, particularly the Commonwealth and the United Nations, played a profound and beneficial role in the political transition to end apartheid.

International Mediation in the South African Transition will be of interest to students and scholars of African politics, conflict resolution, international relations and global governance.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. International Mediation  3. Historical background: The structure of the South African conflict  4. Getting to the table: the mission of the eminent persons group  5. Getting to agreement: The United Nations Observer Mission to South Africa  6. Contrasting roles in international mediation: lessons from South Africa 

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Zwelethu Jolobe is a senior lecturer in political studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.