South African International Relations Essay

2858 words - 11 pages

Introduction.Diplomacy and foreign relations is more than a carrot and stick methodology. Diplomats have various strategies to use. Diplomacy will be addressed in this short analysis of South African foreign policy.Firstly, states need to have formal recognitions of each other in order to engage in formal meaningful dialogue. Dialogue is founded on common trust and interest.Secondly, dialogue should have a direction or purpose. This is the end goal that each state wished to achieve. The end goal should be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.Thirdly, all formal diplomatic contact is governed by protocol. This protocol is more important than the negotiating process.Finally, the application of the foreign policy in the South African context is discussed. The ambiguity of the public face of diplomats versus the serious debate behind closed doors is touched on. The relationship between foreign policy and diplomacy is discussed and explained in the next section.1.Foreign policy and diplomacy explained and the relationship between the two.Holsti (1995:18) describes foreign policy as the analysis of the actions of a state towards the external environment and the conditions under which those actions are formulated. It is therefore the international objectives practised by a state's dealings with other states as well as the methods to achieve the objectives in order to advance national interests (http://www.socialsciencedictionary.org). Foreign policies are designed to help protect a state's national interests and security, ideological goals and economic prosperity. This may occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through aggression, war, and exploitation (http://en.wikipedia.org).Wright (1955:158) defines diplomacy firstly, as the "employment of tact, shrewdness and skill in any negotiation or transaction" and secondly, within international relations, as "the art of negotiation in order to achieve the maximum of group objectives with a minimum of costs, within a system of politics in which war is a possibility." Wright (1955:158) further explains that the "peculiarity of diplomacy lies in its relation to war and that negotiations with war as a possible alternative constitutes diplomacy". Diplomacy uses words rather than weapons and that a display of force and threat of war are among the instruments of diplomacy. Diplomacy balances advantages against costs in a way which war, once embarked upon, cannot do (Wright: 1955:158-159). Holsti (1995:140-141) clarifies that diplomacy is concerned with the creation and systematising of new knowledge, the expression of general principles and "educates" those who do not have all the relevant knowledge surrounding a problem."Berridge (1987:164) summarises foreign policy as "the attitude struck by one state towards another" and diplomacy is one of the instruments employed to convey and give effect to that attitude. Berridge (1987:164) further explains that diplomacy, by its very nature,...

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