International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Political Culture in South African Foreign Policy
Deon Geldenhuys

Although widely acknowledged as an explanatory variable in the study of states’ foreign policies, political culture still tends to be neglected by foreign policy analysts. In studies of South African foreign policy the neglect is pronounced, not least because of the scarcity of reliable data on the country’s political culture. This exploratory study set out to establish a general association rather than a causal relationship between South Africa’s foreign policy and its political culture, especially elite culture. It was possible to infer various elements of political culture (values, norms, beliefs, expectations and attitudes) from seven tenets of South Africa’s foreign policy, including its promotion of democracy and human rights abroad, the notion of sovereignty as responsibility, liberatory solidarity, and good global citizenship. Themes for further inquiry on the link between South African foreign policy and political culture are proposed.

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