South Africa's Economic Statecraft in Southern Africa: Non-existent or Nascent? An Examination of Relations with Zimbabwe and Swaziland

This occasional paper is concerned with the success of South Africa’s engagement with Zimbabwe and Swaziland in support of a normative and progressive agenda by means of economic incentives and other tools favouring the promotion of democracy and its accoutrements of human rights, transparency and accountability.The paper starts with an outline of South Africa’s key foreign policy and economic diplomacy principles and vehicles. It discusses the conceptual distinctions between ‘economic statecraft’ and ‘economic diplomacy’, and provides explanations for why South Africa favours ‘diplomacy’ over ‘statecraft’ in dealing with the region. The paper then moves on to the political situation in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, while outlining how South Africa has opted to engage bilaterally and multilaterally in encouraging the promotion of human rights, democracy and good governance in these countries. It concludes that in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, South Africa has displayed a distinct reluctance to use its economic power to push for democratic reform.