South Africa and the Emerging Powers

  • Ian Taylor St Andrews University; Renmin University of China
Palavras-chave: South Africa. Emerging powers. Neo-liberalism.


Within the current world order, despite the ongoing economic crisis, neo-liberalism continues to inform the global financial architecture and forms the foundation for the global trading system. It is a normative paradigm which has been accepted by elites in the Global South but which is also being interrogated as the process of neoliberal globalization seems to engender division and inequity across and—crucially—within national territories. Such questions are based on the partial nature of global liberalization, seen to benefit the developed world at the expense of the developing and also the continuation of what South Africa’s previous president, Thabo Mbeki, referred to as “global apartheid”. Within this context, since the 1994 elections, but particularly under the presidency of Mbeki and continuing under Zuma, South African foreign policy has more and more adopted a reformist stance towards the global system. Activism has been particularly focussed on multilateral initiatives and alliance-building amongst like-minded states in order to further an agenda that seeks to ameliorate the perceived negative outcomes of globalisation, whilst also seeking to open up the markets of the developed world. Whilst Pretoria’s diplomacy is, perhaps as expected, implicitly statist, such bargaining coalitions are of increasing interest and importance in pushing positions in the emerging global trade regime. This article seeks to analyse how South Africa fits within this emerging network of coalitions and meeting points, as exemplified by the G-20, India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) and the BRICS.


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Biografia do Autor

Ian Taylor, St Andrews University; Renmin University of China
Professor in International Relations and African Politics at St Andrews and also Chair Professor in the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China
Como Citar
Taylor, I. (1). South Africa and the Emerging Powers. Estudos Internacionais: Revista De relações Internacionais Da PUC Minas, 1(2), 139-156. Recuperado de
Dossiê: Potências Emergentes