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Developing a Contextually Relevant Concept of Regional Hegemony: The Case of South Africa, Zimbabwe and "Quiet Diplomacy"

Miriam Prys

No 77, GIGA Working Papers from GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

Abstract: South Africa's 'quiet diplomacy' has been often used to reject the notion of South African leadership or regional hegemony in southern Africa. This article finds that this evaluation is founded on a misguided understanding of regional hegemony, which is based on conventional hegemony theories that are mostly derived from the global role of the United States after World War II. Alternatively, this article uses a concept of hegemony that, for example, takes into account the 'regionality' of South Africa's hegemony, which both allows external actors to impact on regional relations and allows South Africa to pursue its foreign policy goals on the global level of international politics. This concept helps to systemically analyze South Africa's foreign policy in the Zimbabwean crisis and to better integrate this policy into the broader framework of its regional and global ambitions.

Keywords: regional powers; hegemony; South Africa; Zimbabwe; quiet diplomacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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