South Africa in the World 2020: Pragmatism versus Ideology

The Institute for Global Dialogue’s (IGD) flagship project, South Africa in the World, is aimed at promoting a greater understanding of the changing geopolitics and inculcating strategic thinking in South African foreign policy. In the last 25 years, South African and African international relations have been influenced by an unfavourable global balance of forces that acts negatively against progressive internationalism. This has shifted the international strategic landscape to the right, affecting both the Global North and the Global South. Party–state dynamics have had an immense impact on foreign policy. In various cases they have determined foreign policy choices, but in terms of actions they have also contributed to weak cohesion and ambiguity. An important ongoing discussion is how national interests inform the synergies between the domestic and international environments and whether there is greater congruence between means and ends. The strategic use of resources is pivotal to crafting an independent foreign policy that is coherent and correspondent.