Khadiagala, Gilbert M.. Allies in Adversity: The Frontline States in Southern African Security, 1975–1993
1994, Allies in adversity : the frontline states in southern african security, 1975-1993. Athens: Ohio University Press.
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One of the fundamental questions in Africa’s search for meaningful political and economic integration is how small states with limited resources promote change in their regional neighborhoods. This study looks at Africa’s Frontline States—Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—to assess their role in southern African security since the 1970s. Several issues formed the basis for collaboration among these Frontline States (FLS) in the 1970s and 1980s: advancing Zimbabwe’s and Namibia’s independence, building regional economic institutions, and managing South Africa’s dominance. The FLS contributed to decolonization and economic integration by aggregating their collective strengths and attracting external actors into the region.

Through the eyes of principal African actors, this study explains local and international efforts at resolving conflicts across the racial and economic divides of southern Africa. It complements the myriad studies on security, conflict resolution, and regional integration in an area undergoing tremendous transformations as it attempts to leave the decolonization conflicts of the 1970s behind.

Comment: This is a valuable book for students of African studies, African history and African politics. Khadiagala presents a comprehensive examination of interstate relations in the southern Africa region, examining the extent to which relatively weak, majority-ruled states in southern Africa were able to organise a credible security alliance. The author provides theoretical and empirical insights on the limits and vulnerabilities of security alliances which are dependent on powerful external actors.

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Khadiagala, Gilbert M.. Meddlers or mediators? : African interveners in civil conflicts in Eastern Africa
2007, Meddlers or mediators? : African interveners in civil conflicts in eastern Africa. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff (International negotiation series, v. 4).
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Since the 1990s, African actors have been engaged in ending civil wars. These efforts have often been characterized as the quest for indigenous solutions to local conflicts. Using cases of mediation in Eastern Africa-Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan - this study probes the strengths and weaknesses of African mediation initiatives. The book contends that although African actors have limited resources to mediate civil wars, over the years, they have learnt to seize opportunities that accrue from participating in conflict resolution to contribute to peaceful settlements. Conceptualized as building organizational power for mediation, this process has entailed evolving professional norms and standards of intervention. Eastern African mediators have also benefited from interaction with international mediators in conflict resolution.

Comment: Khadiagala’s book sheds light on the vagary of conflict mediation through citizen-led (elder statesmen), state-centric and regionally-driven initiatives. Recommended for scholars of peace, conflict resolution, history, politics and African studies.

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Mamdani, Mahmood. Beyond Nuremberg: The Historical Significance of the Post-apartheid Transition in South Africa
2015, “Beyond Nuremberg: The Historical Significance of the Post-Apartheid Transition in South Africa,” POLITICS AND SOCIETY, 43(1), pp. 61–88.
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Abstract:

The contemporary human rights movement holds up Nuremberg as a template with which to define responsibility for mass violence. I argue that the negotiations that ended apartheid—the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA)— provide the raw material for a critique of the “lessons of Nuremberg.” Whereas Nuremberg shaped a notion of justice as criminal justice, CODESA calls on us to think of justice as primarily political. CODESA shed the zero-sum logic of criminal justice for the inclusive nature of political justice. If the former accents victims’ justice, the latter prioritizes survivors’ justice. If Nuremberg has been ideologized as a paradigm, the end of apartheid has been exceptionalized as an improbable outcome produced by the exceptional personality of Nelson Mandela. This essay argues for the core relevance of the South African transition for ending civil wars in the rest of Africa.

Comment: This article is relevant to student of peace and conflict studies and can be used as a starting point for debate about the best means to conflict resolution. It compares the Nuremberg trials to the CODESA process in South Africa, comparing political justice (CODESA) with criminal justice (Nuremberg).

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Pityana, Barney Nyameko. The truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa: perspectives and prospects
2018, Journal of Global Ethics, 14(2), pp. 194–207. doi: 10.1080/17449626.2018.1517819.
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Abstract:

Debate about the TRC has become necessary in South Africa today, 20 years since the final Report was handed over to government on 29 October 1998. Assessment of its efficacy and longer-term value is being undertaken, unfortunately, within an environment of intense disillusionment about the promise of constitutional democracy. This paper sets out the environment in which the TRC was established in 1996, its legal and constitutional frameworks, its achievements for creating a climate of reconciliation, for granting amnesty to perpetrators of human rights violations, and for setting a reparations framework. South Africans are conscious of grinding poverty and inequality, pervasive racism, and unfulfilled aspirations of the democratic settlement of 1994. What value, then was the TRC? This paper attempts a fair assessment, seeks to be honest about its grandiose claims, and undertakes a philosophical, political and ethical analysis of its achievements. Drawing on many studies on the TRC it seeks to chart a more rational course than some, noting that circumstances in Africa are such that the TRC is being revisited, The Gambia, for example, being the latest country that has introduced the TRC. Others may follow suit: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, to name a few.

Comment: This article engages with the concept of transitional justice and reconciliation in truth commissions around Africa by reflecting specifically on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its impact on South Africa. Suitable for courses on South African history, conflict resolution, transitional justice.

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