The Reality of Realpolitik: The Trajectory of the Negotiation Process to the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement (GPA)

Pooe , Rakgori Andrew (2013) The Reality of Realpolitik: The Trajectory of the Negotiation Process to the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement (GPA). UNSPECIFIED thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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In the last two decades, there is no country in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region that has managed to consistently grab the international attention better than Zimbabwe. At the centre of this attention has been the unorthodox method followed by the Zimbabwean government in its commonly referred to “revolutionary” land reform programme. Given that almost all the targets of this land reform programme were the white community with strong British lineage, the violent nature of the land reform irked a strong reaction from the United Kingdom (UK) government supported by the its Western allies in particular the United States of America (USA) and European Union (EU). This set a stage for a battle, at the domestic level between Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) which adopted all the imagined and unimagined strategies and tactics to defend its hold on power on the other hand, and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC since its inception positioned itself as an alternative for hope given the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation. Consequently, the MDC was backed by the West primarily as an alternative to the “anyone but Mugabe” syndrome. At the international level, there were serious clashes of interest between SADC (in the person of the Facilitator and former President Thabo Mbeki) and the Western countries. It is these crude and competing interests and power dynamics that make Zimbabwe a necessary case study for international relations scholars. In that vein the Zimbabwe trajectory to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) offers an insight on how interests and power games evolved, as demonstrated by the extreme positions of the West, in particular their regime change agenda which primarily targeted the Zimbabwean economy to overthrow the Mugabe regime, and SADC and Mbeki‟s resolve not to give an inch to these Western demands. These intricacies in the international arena are also supported at the domestic level by the specific interests and quest for state power by the three protagonists in the Zimbabwe conflict - and these consequently result in the Zimbabwe dialogue mainly driven by aspiring and incumbent statesmen. It is the nature of power games and interests that depicts strong realism features in the Zimbabwe crisis and dialogue albeit not exclusively. This is so because Mbeki‟s pragmatism including his consensus approach premised on South Africa‟s multilateralism to conflict management and resolution has features of idealism. In any case and supporting the idealism angle, Mbeki‟s mediation role was in the first place sanctioned by SADC and the African Union (AU). As a result, SADC and AU deserve huge credit in the positive and successful outcome of Mbeki‟s mediation role. The GPA as an outcome of a political process driven mainly by Statesmen has both ideological and practical features. Mbeki was firstly driven by his own personal ambitions to advance his vision of the African renaissance project in line with the Pan African ideology. Secondly, Mbeki had to incorporate practical political considerations such as the stature of Mugabe on the African continent, the sensitivity of the land issue in the continent and regional politics in his mediation matrix. Thus a conclusion may be reached that Mbeki, SADC and the AU, emerged triumphant over the West‟s regime change agenda albeit at a huge humanitarian cost. It is this triumph and conclusion that locates the Zimbabwe conflict resolution framework within the broader Africa conflict resolution and

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Negotiation Process,politics,Global Political Agreement (GPA),Zimbabwe
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > University of Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2015 22:00
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 22:00

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