Security in Southern Africa: After Apartheid, beyond Realism

  • Citation: Ken Booth, Vale Peter, Security in southern Africa: after apartheid, beyond realism, International Affairs, Volume 71, Issue 2, April 1995, Pages 285–304
    • Topics:
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Southern Africa
    • geopolitics
    • regional security

In new and challenging ways, southern Africa is faced by the choice between two geopolitical courses, characterized by distinctive understandings of the future of interstate relations and unique appreciations of the region’s security problematic. The traditional policy framework of realism is based on responding to circumstances and events by rote rather than asking the difficult first-order questions-the kind of questions that create alternative interpretations of ‘reality’ and consequently new policy outcomes. We will argue that looking at security through fresh eyes is of particular importance in southern Africa, since changing times have opened promising avenues for attending to this historically tragic region’s immediate and future security needs. Without a new and critical security discourse the bloody conflicts of the region’s past may yet return to mar its future.

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